Pleasure, Story, Word: Verse Bibles Before the English Reformation
- 5:30 pm on Tuesday, November 13, 2012
- 7:00 pm on Tuesday, November 13, 2012
- Trustees Lounge, 1 Silber Way, 9th floor (SMG building)
Join the Program in Scripture and the Arts for a presentation by Nicholas Watson, Harvard University. It is often claimed that medieval Christian Europe had no vernacular Bibles, which were a triumphant invention of sixteenth-century Protestantism, aided by the rise of print. One way this is wrong is in its narrow view of what counts as a Bible. Between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries in particular, European vernacular Bibles were as often as not in verse, presenting a view of the Scriptures not primarily as divine law but as a record of sacred history – of events and their layered meanings – offering readers and hearers not only the word of God but testimony to his actions as a creator, guide, and above all his incarnate presence. Heroic, performative, aesthetic – its rhythms staking a claim not only on the minds but on the bodily experience of its auditors – poetry was a fit medium for such testimony, elevating spoken Word over written Text. Reception to follow.