The Program in Scripture and the Arts is pleased to present our events for the 2012-2013 season. Please check back often to see events as they are posted.
March 5, 2013
November 13, 2012
Please join us for a presentation by Nicholas Watson, Harvard University:
“Pleasure, Story, Word: Verse Bibles Before the English Reformation”
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.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Trustees Lounge, 1 Silber Way, 9th floor (SMG building)
Reception to follow.
“Translating Pasolini Translating Paul” A lecture by Professor Elizabeth Castelli, Professor and Chair of the Religion Department at Barnard College.
Not long before his untimely death in the mid-1970s and following on his masterpiece “The Gospel According to St. Matthew”, Italian Marxist cultural worker and filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini wrote a script for a film about Saint Paul that was never produced. This lecture, given by esteemed Professor Elizabeth Castelli, the English translator of Pasolini's Italian original, situates Saint Paul in the broader framework of Pasolini's oeuvre and considers how this script relates to the more recent interest in Paul's letters among continental philosophers.
Location: BU School of Education, Room 130, 2 Silber Way
Reception immediately following Time/Date: March 6, 2012, 6:15pm
"Sacred and Secular Art in the Court of Sultan Ahmed I" A lecture by Professor Emine Fetvaci, Assistant Professor, Department of History of Art and Architecture at BU.
A seventeeth-century album made for the Ottoman Sultan Ahmed I brings together Persian mystical poetry, Ottoman paintings, and Netherlandish prints with Christian and mythological subject matter. The talk will examine the intersection of the sacred and the secular in the album, and discuss the paintings, prints and calligraphies in the context of cross-cultural exchange.
Location: 147 Bay State Road, Room 201
Reception immediately following Time/Date: December 5, 2011, 5:30pm
"WHY DO HINDUS ARGUE ABOUT THEIR SCRIPTURE--AND WHO IS ALLOWED TO HEAR IT?" A lecture by Professor Wendy Doniger, University of Chicago's Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions, with a response from Professor David Frankfurter, Aurelio Chair, BU Department of Religion.
Join us for a renowned expert's view of the history of Hindu oral and written texts from antiquity to the present Internet Age, when conservative factions use claims about scripture as the basis for attempts to ban works of religious art and literature.
Location: Room 102, Sargent College
635 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA
Reception immediately following Time/Date: Thursday, September 22nd at 5:30pm
Open to General Public
Admission is free More Info:email@example.com or 646-468-5977 for the Coordinator of the Religion Department Program in Scripture and the Arts
SITA SINGS THE BLUES Screening of the film and a conversation with filmmaker Nina Paley.
Boston University's Program for Scripture and the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, Distinguished Teaching Professorship welcome filmaker Nina Paley to Boston University. On April 4 we will present a showing of the groundbreaking animated film Sita Sings the Blues, followed by a conversation with the filmmaker.
Sita Sings the Blues was written, directed, produced and animated by American artist Paley, and weaves an autobiographical story with events from the Hindu scriptural text the Ramayana. The feature length film uses music, shadow puppets and novel animation techniques to re-imagine the artist's experience through the lens of the god Rama's wife, Sita.
Location: SMG Auditorium
Time/Date: April 4, 2011, 6pm
GE HONG AND THE FORMATION OF THE MEDIEVAL DAOIST TRANSCENDENT A Lecture by Boston University's Professor Thomas Michael
On March 23, the Program for Scripture and the Arts will present a lecture by Professor Thomas Michael: Ge Hong's (283- 343) Shenxian Zhuan stands out as one of the most powerfully innovative and influential texts of the entire Daoist religion. This work successfully established the image of the Daoist transcendent that would remain popular even to the present day. Arguably the most radical effect of Ge Hong's Shenxian Zhuan was that it brought the two traditions of Daoist sages and occult masters into the rubric of a shared classification.
This presentation explores the ways in which the various hagiographies of the Shenxian Zhuan depict these two very different types of masters and the ways in which Ge Hong masterfully melded them into the single concept of the Daoist transcendent. Reception to follow in Room 202.
Location: BU College of Arts & Sciences, Room 313
Time/Date: March 23, 2011, 6pm
THE ESCAPE OF JONAH U.S. Premiere of an exciting new work by Israeli composer Matti Kovler.
Join Boston University's Program for Scripture and the Arts, The Jewish Cultural Endowment and the Boston University Humanities Foundation as we present The Escape of Jonah, an oratorio written by Matti Kovler, a Russian-born Israeli composer.
This work of music theater retells the story of the biblical prophet Jonah from the point of view of a modern immigrant, bringing together the sounds of a nine-piece band, choir, soloists and electronics. Written by Matti Kovler and directed by Michael Rotenstein, the oratorio retells the story of the prophet Jonah, from today’s point of view. The English libretto was written by Janice Silverman Rebibo, inspired by Sivan Beskin's original poem.
The concert will also feature an additional work by Kovler: HereComes Messiah!, scored for soprano and chamber ensemble, directed by Masha Nemirovsky, libretto by Janice Silverman Rebibo.
A conversation with the composer and a reception will follow the performance.
Presented with support from the The Other Within, a Jewish Studies Faculty Initiative at BU. Free and open to the public.
Location: Boston University College of Fine Arts, Concert Hall
Time/Date: March 1, 2011, 7pm.
DUNYA ENSEMBLE An exploration of shared scriptural traditions
Musical group DUNYA returns to Boston University! Join us for an evening with DUNYA Ensemble, as we explore a tableau of scriptural music and traditions from the Ottoman Empire, including Islam, Sephardic Judaism and greek Orthodoxy. Introduced by Assistant Professor of Art History Emine Fetvaci, DUNYA Ensemble will present devotional songs in Greek, Hebrew and Turkish; songs of the Alevi and the Bektasi; and a selection of liturgical and ceremonial music from all three religious traditions. This presentation is a rare opportunity to explore the intersections and divergences of three important scriptural and musical worlds with one of Boston's best-loved musical ensembles. Free and open to the public. A Q&A and reception will follow.
Supported by the Boston University Humanities Foundation.
Location: Boston University Hillel House, 4th Floor
Time/Date: November 17, 2010 6pm
RHETORIC, AMBITION AND THE FUNCTION OF THE CAPELLA PALATINA IN PALERMO A Lecture by Professor Beat Brenk, University of Rome
Join world-reknowned scholar Dr. Beat Brenk as he considers the meaning and use of spiritual architectural space in Sicily's twelfth century Capella Palatina, looking at the development of this sacred building and its dialogue with the temporal and political concerns of the day. The Capella reflects a melange of influence based on participation not only of its Norman benefactors, but its Byzantine, Islamic, Sicilian and Italian artists and builders. To what extent, asks Dr. Brenk, is that space and its sacred art a result of that cultural mix, and to what extent are they an expression of external political and cultural ambitions? Reception to follow.
Location: Boston University HIllel House, 4th Floor
Time/Date: October 20, 2010 6pm
SOUNDS OF ENLIGHTENMENT: MOZART'S MAGIC FLUTE A Lecture by Professor Christopher I. Lehrich
Mozart's last opera is a bizarre fairytale filled with monsters, a dark Queen, a sorcerous brotherhood, bird people, and a prince rescuing a princess. Only genius could spin musical gold from such a tangle of straw. But is there a deeper meaning there? Why does Die Zauberfote still speak so strongly to us today? Join Christopher I. Lehrich as he explores the hidden depths of Mozart's most beloved opera. The lecture will be followed by a short reception. Free and open to the public.
Location: Boston University Photonics Center, Rm 206, 8 St Mary's Street
Time/Date: April 20, 2010 6pm
ECSTATIC ARABIC MUSIC, KARIM NAGI
Join us on April 8 for a performance and Q&A by Arab Hand Percussionist Karim Nagi. Karim Nagi is a native Egyptian drummer, DJ, and folk dancer. He has released two internationally distributed CDs of this unique brand of Arab House/Electronica using acoustic instruments. He is well versed in the ultra-traditional styles of music and dance as the leader of the Sharq Arabic Music Ensemble, and the Arab Dance Seminar. Karim performs and teaches Tahteeb Cane Dance, Dabka Line Dance, and Zikr Sufi Dance. He taught at the New England Conservatory of Music for 5 years, and has lectured and presented at Harvard, MIT, Yale, Bowdoin, Princeton, Stanford, William & Mary, and several Community Colleges. As a dance and drum teacher, Karim has taught in nearly all major bellydance festivals in the United States and Cairo, as well as all major Arab Culture festivals in the USA. Karim Nagi is a true crossover artist, uniting the Cabaret and Tribal, Traditional and the Modern, the Ethnic and the Urban. Reception to follow! Free and open to the public.