It is great to see an article by one of our Visiting Professors, Martin O’Kane, in the inaugural edition of a beautifully produced open-access journal the Bible in the Arts (BiA) (Die Bibel in der Kunst – BiKu) . Martin specialises in the Bible and Art, and a number of readers will have enjoyed his lectures and guided tours, particularly around the Barbour Institute.
The journal is going to be particularly useful to anyone interested in reception history and the use of the Bible within the visual arts, as well as music and literature. It will also include reviews and reports on current research.
Martin’s article, Painting of King Solomon in Islamic and Orientalist Tradition, explores the person King Solomon, a very popular and influential figure within biblical and post-biblical tradition, as it appears in Islamic and Orientalist art. After examining Solomon in the Qur’an and later Islamic tradition, Martin explores the depiction of Solomon in Islamic miniature painting (illustrated) and noting that the prevalence of illustrations like these
…help to dispel the myth of the lack of enthusiasm for figurative art in Islam, especially in relation to how prophets can be portrayed.
Martin O’ Kane (2017: 17)
Martin then explores Solomon within the Orientalist tradition, with its focus on the increasingly lavish and exotic.
For those who’s appetites have been whetted in regards to Solomon, Bible in the Arts also includes another article by Antonia Krainer (in German), this time focusing upon the recent (post 1960) interest in the Queen of Sheba and what it can tell us about the way these old stories/figures can connect with our imaginative and creative worlds: King Vidor „Solomon and Sheba“ (1959) –Hintergründe und Wirkungsgeschichte
Ready or not, yesterday marked the beginning of advent and what better way to take time out and reflect upon this season than joining us for our advent seminar series! Last year we explored the origins of the nativity story, spending time with Matthew and Luke and trying to understand it through their words. This year we will be discovering how that blended story continues to exert its influence throughout history.
We are delighted to announce that Martin has offered to be our guide at the Barber Institute.
The visit will explore in detail three paintings depicting aspects of the Christmas story: de Beer’s Nativity, Bassano’s Adoration of the Magi and Veronese’s Visitation. The emphasis will be on how viewing such paintings can illuminate the Gospel texts and how the artist, through a variety of subtle techniques, draws the viewer into the intimacy of the scene. In order to experience similar artistic techniques in the depiction of another important biblical topic, the visit will close with a brief consideration of three paintings that depict biblical feasts: Stom’s Isaac blessingJacob, Murillo’s Marriage at Cana and Steen’s The Wrath of Ahasuerus.
In order to make this opportunity accessible to as many people as possible, Martin will run this session twice. The Barber Institute is a wonderful place to visit. Entrance is free, but there is a charge for car parking in theUniversity’s North-East Carpark(£3 for 1-3 hours, £4 for 3-5 hours). It is also well serviced by train (University (Birmingham) (UNI) station) and many bus routes. It has extremely good facilities including refreshments and a shop (for those hard to get Christmas presents!!).
The rather hectic second semester is now drawing to a close with a flurry of marking, deadlines and planning meetings for the new academic year. After the colourful chaotic bustle of the last few weeks, the campus is now settling down into quiet summer reflection, where research rather than teaching and assignments become the main focus.
Looking back, it has been a great semester. It was a real joy to have Steve Moyise with us in February and we are looking forward to hearing from him again at our conference in a few week’s time (see below).
Unfortunately, it was not logistically possible to hold the evening seminars. However, looking ahead, we are hoping to be able to host more events in the summer and autumn. Continue reading →
Newman Research Centre for the Bible and its Reception
Dead Letters and Living Words: Continuity and creativity in the interpretation and use of the Bible.
June 6th 2015
Registration 9.00 to 9.30
The Hebrew and Christian scriptures hold an important place within their respective faith communities as authoritative texts rooted within their ancient pasts. However, there is a tension between the continuity of traditional scriptural readings and a renegotiation of those texts when applied to new contexts. This conference will explore that relationship examining different ways that texts have been given life throughout centuries and how this might impact upon the text’s status as authority. Continue reading →
Dead Letters and Living Words: Continuity and creativity in the interpretation and use of the Bible Conference.
6th June 2015
We are very excited to announce this year’s conference for the NRCBR at Newman University to which you are warmly welcome.
The Hebrew and Christian scriptures hold an important place within their respective communities as authoritative texts rooted within their ancient past. However, there is a tension between the continuity of traditional scriptural readings and a renegotiation of those texts when applied to new contexts. This conference will explore that relationship examining different ways that texts have been given life throughout centuries and how this might impact upon the text’s status as authority.
This year the emphasis will again be placed upon participation for all and providing the opportunity for everyone present to engage with the questions and issues presented in each of the session. Therefore we are developing a more inclusive round-table style format to the afternoon, structuring it so that we can all be part of the on-going conversation about the relationship between continuity and creativity, historical and contextual readings, and the boundaries of biblical interpretation and use.
Speakers are still being finalised, but among those who are booked to speak include:
Dr. Lloyd Pietersen (Centre of Anabaptist Studies, Bristol Baptist College) who will give the key note address
• Professor Martin O’Kane (University of Wales, Trinity Saint David)
• David McLoughlin (Newman University)
• Dr. Richard Goode (Newman University)
More details will be uploaded as they become available.
Students and unwaged free
Teas and coffees will be provided
Please bring own lunch – hot food, drinks and snacks can be purchased at the University