Saturday, July 09, 2011

Because all books need pictures: Seeing the Word with the St John’s Bible

I’m preparing for the Living the text intensive, which starts Monday. Part of our time will look at imagination (along with community, space and spirituality2go). I love the St Johns Bible, the first handwritten, illuminated Bible of the modern era. For me, reading such a text, a coloured and creative text, changes the way I engage, live and communicate.

“linking the human imagination and the human hand with the Word of God”

“not looking to create a 12th century Bible in the 21st century but rather we are looking to create a 21st century Bible in the 21st century.”

The process, artistic and communal is interesting. For the artist “The illuminations are not illustrations. They are spiritual meditations on a text. It is a very Benedictine approach to Scriptures.” And in the communal:

At Saint John’s University, a committee of artists, medievalists, theologians, biblical scholars and art historians called the Committee on Illumination and Text reflect on each of the volumes before they are written. This team provides the background material and plan that guide the illuminations and text treatments in The Saint John’s Bible.

And the motivation? … “so that when people open it they are not impressed by the cleverness of it, or the detail or even the shining gold” but so they can enter the Scriptures more deeply, more humanly, more spiritually. As in here …

Posted by steve at 01:25 PM

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