Events & Lectures

The Program in Scripture and the Arts is pleased to present our events calendar. Please check back often to see events as they are posted.

Amos Wilder Lecture and Friday Morning Talk with Joy Ladin, March 20 and 21

By Theresa Cooney
January 31st, 2014 in Uncategorized.

On Thursday, March 20 and Friday, March 21 The Program in Scripture and the Arts, in collaboration with the Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies, the College of Arts and Sciences Academic Enhancement Fund and the Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies will welcome Joy Ladin to BU for two exciting events. Joy will come from New York’s Stern College/Yeshivah University  to give the final Amos Wilder Lecture on Thursday, March 20, 2014. Joy is a literary scholar and also an acclaimed poet herself; she holds the David and Ruth Guttesman Chair in English at Stern College/YU.

Joy has also written about her experience as a Jewish transgender person and her decision to transition (and the impact of that decision personally and professionally) in a book entitled, Through the Door of Life; A Jewish Journey Between Genders. To learn more about Joy and her work, see here.

 

Amos Wilder lecture: “You are Making Me Now”: Writing God as a Contemporary American Poet

Rephrasing Robert Frost’s classic 1915 poem, “Mending Wall,” poet and scholar Joy Ladin has noted “Something there is in American poetry that doesn’t love religion, that sends skeptical ground swells under it, toppling the rhetoric of Divinity and Absolute Truth…” According to Allen Ginsberg, American poets’ “thirst for the Absolute” is in constant tension with the “aesthetics of relative truth” on which most American poetic practices are based. This talk will examine “the aesthetics of relative truth,” how they are reflected in American poetics, and how hard those poetics make it to represent one of the most fundamental human experiences: the experience of the presence of God.

When: Thursday, March 20, 2014, 4:30 PM

Location: Photonics 203, 8 St. Mary’s Street, Boston University, Boston MA

Free and Open to the Public

 

Friday Morning Talk: Gender, Judaism and God

This talk will take an autobiographical, phenomenological approach to examining the intersections (and collisions) between transgender identity and Jewish tradition, and the challenges and changes in the American Jewish world’s engagement with transgender Jews.

When: Friday, March 21, 2014, 10 am

Location: PHO 206, 8 St. Mary’s St, Boston University, Boston MA 02215

Free and Open to the Public

“Does the Artist Matter? Painting Gods for Korean Shamans” with Laurel Kendall

By Theresa Cooney
October 30th, 2013 in Uncategorized.

In Korean shaman practice, images of gods hung in the shaman’s shrine transmit divine inspiration to shamans and are the site of daily offerings and supplications.  Some paintings are produced by traditionalist painters who observe a variety of workshop taboos and as in some sense inspired by the gods they portray.   Other shrine paintings are produced by commercial artists and sold in generic shaman supply shops and some shamans use cheap commercial prints.  Do these distinctions matter?  Anthropologist Laurel Kendall of Columbia University and the American Museum of Natural History presents a dialogue between shamans, painters, and shop proprietors on the subject of a proper and efficacious shaman painting.

Where: BU Photonics Colloquium Room, 9th floor of 8 St. Mary’s Street, Boston MA

When: November 13, 2013, 6 pm lecture, reception to follow

Free and Open to the public

Co-Sponsored by the BU Center for the Humanities, BU Department of Religion, BU MLCL and BU CSA

Alash Ensemble: Workshop, Performance and Q+A

By Theresa Cooney
October 30th, 2013 in Lecture, Performance, Workshop.

On November 5, 2013, the Program in Scripture and the Arts will be hosting the Alash Ensemble, internationally acclaimed masters of Tuvan throat singing. Hailing from the Tuva Republic in Siberia Russia, the ensemble will hold a workshop in which students will learn traditional forms and techniques of Tuvan throat singing. In the evening, there will be a public performance showcasing this remarkable technique for singing multiple pitches at the same time. The performance will be followed by a Q+A session that will focus on possible intersections between Tuvan throat singing and Shamanism.

 

Location: GSU Conference Auditorium, 775 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston MA

 

Date/Time: November 5, 2013/ 1 pm workshop, 5:30 pm performance, Q+A and Reception to follow.

 

Free and Open to BU Community. For more information see: http://www.bu.edu/scriparts/events/

 

For more information on participating in the 1 pm student workshop on Nov 5, please contact Theresa Cooney, scripart@bu.edu


Co-sponsored by the BU Arts Initiative, Office of the Provost; the BU Center for the Humanities; the BU Core Curriculum and Distinguished Teaching Fellowship; the BU Department of Religion and the BU Department of Modern Languages and Comparative Literature.

“Does God Speak Tamil or Sanskrit? On the Infancy of a Tamil Goddess”

By John Canver
March 5th, 2013 in Lecture.

A Lecture by Professor David Shulman, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Many languages claim to be God’s most intimate and natural medium of communication. In southern India this theme involves the relations between Sanskrit and Tamil, two languages that are often seen as hostile entities by Tamil nationalists. However, in pre-modern south India they were bound together in a complex and complimentary relationship. Dr. Shulman will explore the Tamil-Sanskrit interface as seen in a seventeenth-century text by the great poet Kumarakuruparar on the infancy of the goddess Minaksi. Each verse of this poem projects a strong vision of the Tamil language itself as a living, thinking, feeling goddess.

Location: The Castle, 225 Bay State Road
Reception immediately following
Time/Date: Tuesday March 5, 5:30pm

More info: scriptart@bu.edu
Download: flyer in JPG color

“Pleasure, Story, Word: Verse Bibles Before the English Reformation”

By John Canver
November 13th, 2012 in Lecture.

A Lecture by Professor 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.

Location: Trustees Lounge, 1 Silber Way, 9th floor (SMG building)
Reception immediately following
Time/Date: Tuesday, November 13, 2012, 5:30 p.m.

“Moral Paragons and Moral Dilemmas in the Indian Epics”

By John Canver
March 20th, 2012 in Lecture.

A Lecture by Professor Emily Hudson

This talk offers a rereading of a central text in the study of Hinduism, the Ramayana, by interrogating its central protagonist’s status as a moral paragon.

Location: Judaic Studies Boardroom, Rm 201, 147 Bay State Road
Reception immediately following
Time/Date: March 20, 2012, 5:00pm

Open to General Public
Admission is free
More info: scriptart@bu.edu
Download: flyer in PDF color

“Translating Pasolini Translating Paul”

By John Canver
March 6th, 2012 in Lecture.

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

Open to General Public
Admission is free

More info: scriptart@bu.edu
Download: flyer in PDF color

“Sacred and Secular Art in the Court of Sultan Ahmed I”

By John Canver
December 5th, 2011 in Lecture.

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

Open to General Public
Admission is free
More info: scriptart@bu.edu
Download: flyer in PDF color

“Why do Hindus Argue About Their Scripture and Who is Allowed To Hear It?”

By John Canver
September 22nd, 2011 in Lecture.

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: scriptart@bu.edu or 646-468-5977 for the Coordinator of the Religion Department Program in Scripture and the Arts
Download: flyer in PDF color

Sita Sings the Blues

By John Canver
April 4th, 2011 in Screening.

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

Download: flyer in JPG Color