Friday, September 30, 2011

I am finishing a book review that has taken longer than I thought so in the meantime let me post another good review of Is That A Fish In Your Ear? Translation and the Meaning of Everything by David Bellos (my copy is on order and the US publication date is early October). Here's the opening para of Robert Chandler's review for the Spectator (and if this review doesn't whet your appetite, I don't know what would):

David Bellos is a professor of comparative literature. He is the main English translator of George Perec and Ismail Kadare, and he has written biographies of Perec, Jacques Tati and the French writer and con man Romain Gary. His most recent book, for which he draws on all his wide range of interests, is a clear and lively survey of the world of interpreting and translating. He covers everything from subtitling films to translating poetry, from the genesis of simultaneous interpreting in the early days of the UN to the advances he predicts — somewhat to my surprise — in computer translation.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Vermeer's Women: Secrets and Silence

The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge UK is showing from October 5th to January 15, 2012, "Vermeer's Women: Secrets and Silence."

Jonathan Jones in the Guardian describes Vermeer's art:

What grips us in his art is a silence full of feeling. The voiceless, unfinished dramas he depicts hold the heart and linger in the imagination. A young woman reads a letter at a window. Pale light illuminates her. You can almost feel the hour of the day, sense the slow passing of time in the big house beyond. Who is the letter from, and what does it say?


At the heart of this visually stunning exhibition is Vermeer's extraordinary painting The Lacemaker (c.1669-70) - one of the Musée du Louvre’s most famous works, rarely seen outside Paris and now on loan to the UK for the first time. The painting will be joined by a choice selection of other key works by Vermeer representing the pinnacle of his mature career, and over thirty other masterpieces of genre painting from the Dutch 'Golden Age'. Featuring works from museums and private collections in the UK, Europe and the USA - many of which have never been on public display in Britain - this Cambridge showing will be the only chance to see these masterworks brought together in one location.
Celebrating the eerie calm of Vermeer's carefully-crafted images of young women in domestic interiors, Vermeer's Women: Secrets and Silence will be the first exhibition of its kind to focus exclusively on the mysterious and enigmatic world created by Vermeer in some of the best loved and most characteristic works from his later career. The exhibition will also trace the impact of his unique compositions on contemporary masters of Dutch genre painting, including Gerard ter Borch, Gerrit Dou, Pieter de Hooch, Nicolaes Maes and Jan Steen.
Image credit: Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675), The Lacemaker (c.1669-70). Musée du Louvre, Paris © Réunion des Musées Nationaux/ Gérard Blot
Wed 5 October 2011 to Sun 15 January 2012
Mellon Gallery (13)

Onassis Cultural Center, NYC



Thursday, October 6, 2011 at 6:30 PM            
Onassis Cultural Center

Join us for an evening in which we examine a fundamental aspect of life in ancient Greece- technology. Although better known for their myths, philosophy, and military history, the ancient Greeks were also a technology-minded nation. Their religion, mythology, prehistory, and practical traditions, from the archaic and classical periods up to the culmination of the Hellenistic period, are permeated by many technological achievements, such as huge land-reclamation works, very long tunnels, impressive ship building, double-piston pumps, steam-pressure devices, and innovative military technology.

 "An Introduction to Ancient Greek Technology"
 Theodosios P. Tassios, Professor Emeritus, School of Civil Engineering, National Technical University of Athens

"Hydraulic and Harbor Engineering in Ancient Greece"
John P. Oleson, Distinguished Professor, Department of Greek and Roman Studies, University of Victoria, Canada

"Ancient Greek Military Technology"
Tracey Elizabeth Rihll, Professor, Department of History and Classics, Swansea University, Wales, UK

Film Projection "Diolkos, 1500 Years"
This film, created with the use of 3D animation, is a unique representation of one of the most important technological innovations of Greek civilization-the Diolkos, an overland route for the transfer of ships across the Isthmus of Corinth to avoid circumnavigation of the Peloponnese peninsula.

For Reservations:
Please call 212.486.8314 weekdays only, 9AM -5PM

645 Fifth Avenue
Entrance on 51st or 52nd Street
Between Fifth and Madison Avenues

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sepphoris archaeology: Professors Eric and Carol Meyers



This recent video gives up to date information about this past summer's dig in Sepphoris of the Galilee. The professors also answer questions from viewers. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Edge of Empires exhibit opens today at NYU Institute for the Study of the Ancient World

The exhibit Edge of Empires opens today at the NYU Institute for the Study of the Ancient World. It focuses on Dura-Europos. Here's a review from the NY Observer emphasizing Christian images from a baptistery in what is thought to be a Christian house-church. More when I can see the exhibit!


The New Testament scenes were found in what is believed to be the oldest-known baptistery, which was part of a Christian “house-church” (a house that was used as a church). Dura’s house-church is considered the oldest such structure ever revealed. The Institute is showing three of the baptistery’s original wall paintings. From the city’s synagogue come 10 ceiling tiles, each elaborately painted with astrological signs, pine cones, fruit and faces; they’re being shown together for the first time. Then there are the various beliefs lumped together under the rubric “pagan,” and numerous structures were found in Dura dedicated to Greek, Roman and local gods. Some of the pagan imagery seen at the Institute is itself a blend of different pagan strains.
Not only did Christians, Jews and pagans worship side by side—the Temple of Aphrodite was located across the street from the synagogue—but the city was also inhabited by distinct populations of Greeks, Romans, Arabs and Persians. And they all apparently coexisted in harmony.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Church of St Thomas Whitmarsh has just started the Center for Biblical Studies for which I have written a short piece on Jesus' parables. Take a look at an exciting new venture for Christian Education that puts reading the Bible front and center. Very exciting! 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Idol Anxiety publication event Sept 19th 5.30pm at NYU


Coping with Idol Anxiety
Monday, September 19, 2011, 5:30 PM

A panel celebrating the publication of Idol Anxiety (Stanford University Press, 2011), co-edited by Josh Ellenbogen (Art History, University of Pittsburgh) and Aaron Tugendhaft(Gallatin, NYU). Panelists include Caroline Walker Bynum (Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Study), Michael Kunichika (Russian and Slavic Studies, NYU), Seth L. Sanders(Religion, Trinity College), and Irene Winter (Art History, Harvard), as well as the co-editors.  
Idol Anxiety is an interdisciplinary collection of essays which brings together diverse perspectives from scholars in religious studies, art history, philosophy, and musicology to show that idolatry is a concept that can be helpful in articulating the ways in which human beings interact with and conceive of their surroundings.

Free and open to the public, with a reception to follow, and held at:
The Humanities Initiative
20 Cooper Square, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10003

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Following the setting up of the Anglican Ordinariate, St Boniface Trust has been concerned that yet more divisions are being created within both the Anglican Church and the Roman Catholic Church. The Trust feels that more attention needs to be paid to the understanding of Anglicanism as a distinctive witness in a time when its self understanding is at a low ebb.
There is a degree of urgency and to further this understanding it is offering a prize of £1,000 which will go to the writer of an essay of about 5,000 words on the subject
“Why I am an Anglican and believe I shall remain so”
Essay submissions by lay people and clergy of all ages must be received by 1st January 2012 and entries will be judged by a senior cleric within the Church. The result will be announced next Easter and the winning essay placed on our website together with other significant contributions.
If you are seriously interested in entering please contact the Trust secretary for further details.
secretary@stbonifacetrust.org.uk 
or write to David Prior, Secretary, St Boniface Trust 4 Cley View, Warminster, Wiltshire. BA12 8NS
ST BONIFACE TRUST
WARMINSTER WILTSHIRE
Registered Charity No. 309500 
Website : www.stbonifacetrust.org.uk

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Prayer for 9/11



A prayer for the people - 11 September 2001/11

The World Council of Churches has produced the following prayer to mark the tenth anniversary of the '9/1' attacks in the USA, on 11 September 2001, and the conflict and war that has continued since then.
Have mercy on us, O God, according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy, remove terror from our lives.
Consecrate our memories, O Lord,
when we call to mind those who suffered and died
as a result of September 11th and its consequences.
Bless us as we experience anew the pain of loss,
and as we work to prevent such tragedy from happening again.
Arouse our gratitude as we recall the quality of support and caring
extended to those who were injured, in shock and in mourning.
Inspire us to provide that quality of care whenever people are in need.
Bring us together in love. Let not nation lift up sword against nation,
nor culture against culture, nor religion against religion, nor person against person.
Cleanse our hearts of violent intent and the lust for vengeance.
Help us to repent of hatred, and to seek peace based on your justice.
Forgive us our sins, O Lord, and teach us the things that make for peace;
for we pray in the name of Jesus Christ, our Prince of Peace,
to the glory of your Triune name. Amen.
* World Council of Churches - http://www.oikoumene.org/

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Omnes Viae: Tabula Peutingeriana

A new website OmnesViae makes the roads of the Peutinger Map (Tabula Peutingerianaaccessible from Richard J.A. Talbert's 2010 CUP book, Rome's World.
The Peutinger Map is the only map of the Roman world to come down to us from antiquity. An elongated object full of colorful detail and featuring land routes across Europe, North Africa, and the Near East, it was mysteriously rediscovered around 1500 and then came into the ownership of Konrad Peutinger, for whom it is named. Today it is among the treasures of the Austrian National Library in Vienna.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

The 10th Anniversary of 9/11 (and the first week of school)

This is a week of beginnings and also memories. There's a lot going on to remember 9/11 on the 10th Anniversary of that aweful day. Trinity Wall Street has events all week. Of note is a symposium on Tuesday at 7pm with Krista Tippett and others. Friday seems to be a day of music. Let's remember that St Paul's Chapel was the front line for 9/11.

The Ribbons of Hope Project plans to create ribbons of hope and display them in Battery Park. The Tunnel to Towers Run will be held to honor the firefighters who lost their lives on 9/11. Since 2002, the Tunnel to Towers Run has been held annually to honor the 343 firefighters and first responders who lost their lives on 9-11 and it recreates the final footsteps of firefighter Stephen Siller who was last seen running through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel with sixty pounds of gear strapped to his back en route to the World Trade Center after the attacks.  The event, which was originally intended as a way for New Yorkers to honor the fallen heroes, has now become a yearly tribute to everyone who lost their lives that day and transcends the tragedy.

And from 9/9-9/12 3,000 Flags will be displayed in Battery Park Field to honor the lives lost on 9-11/01. Each banner, known as Flags of Honor, measures 3 feet by 5 feet and features red and blue rows of the names of all those who were killed. This event is free and will be open to the public, with no reservation required. For more information call 1-203-863-916.

On a national scale there are many events of healing and remembrance. The Flight 93 National Memorial opens in Pennsylvania on Sept 10th.

Update: Sept 7th's NY Times includes a piece by Clyde Haberman "Shrinking from History" on the absence of proper commemoration such as a short, meaningful speech at Ground Zero on 9/11.