Westar Institute

November 20, 2017 - 6:00pm to 9:00pm

This lecture is being sponsored by the Society of Biblical Literature and the Westar Institute. The SBL is the largest professional society of biblical scholars and its annual meeting will take place in Boston November 18-21. The Westar Institute is an affiliate organization. Part of Westar's mission is to bring biblical and theological scholarship to the general public. The SBL and Westar have sponsored a free public lecture the past two years, and the event planned for First Church will be our third such lecture. What is new and exciting for us is that this year's lecture is being offered away from the site of the convention. Because of First Church's gracious offer to host this event, you are helping us reach out to the public. We are truly grateful for First Church's hospitality. Here are links to the SBL and Westar websites:

Our speaker will be Dr. Pamela Eisenbaum, Professor of Biblical Studies and Christian Origins at Illiff School of Theology in Denver, CO. Here is the title of her lecture and a short description:

Avatars of the Word: The Role of Technology and Theology in (Re)Producing Scripture

The Bible familiar to modern readers is a single volume printed book that contains Holy Scripture. Such a statement is so obvious it hardly seems worth saying. But in fact scripture has come in many forms over the centuries. Before print, texts were copied by hand, and before books, texts were written on scrolls. While one may assume that scripture is the same no matter what form it comes in, study of past technologies of the preservation and transmission of the Bible reveals how the very understanding of what the Bible is and what it says changes along with its packaging. This lecture offers an overview of early scribal practices in order to demonstrate the correlations between “technologies of scripture” and “theologies of scripture” among Jews and Christians.

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