St Luke’s Presents Lecture Series on Religious Art; Displays Handwritten, Illuminated Bible

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With the invention of the printing press, so went the practice of writing the bible by hand — until Saint John’s Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota, produced a 1,165-page handwritten, gold-illuminated bible in 2011.

A limited edition of one of the seven volumes of The Saint John’s Bible is on display at Saint Luke’s Episcopal Parish for all to view for one year. St. Luke’s is also hosting a three-part lecture series this month on Bible art.

— This announcement from St. Luke’s Parish is by Deidre E. Hogan.

Saint John's Bible page illuninated hand-written

Contributed photo

“Sermon on the Mount,” by Thomas Ingmire, an illuminated manuscript page from the handwritten Saint John\’s Bible, on display this year at St. Luke\’s Parish: Copyright 2002, The Saint John’s Bible, Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota USA. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

The large, leather-bound manuscript features the bible stories of the New Testament’s Gospels and Acts.

“This beautiful volume is distinguished by its contemporary gilded artwork and exquisite calligraphy,” said the Rev. Danny Lennox, senior associate rector at Saint Luke’s.

The original Saint John’s Bible took eleven years to complete by an international team of six calligraphy masters and six artists. This enormous undertaking was spearheaded by Donald Jackson, the official scribe to Queen Elizabeth II.

It was Jackson who first dreamed of the idea and presented it to Fr. Eric Hollas, a Benedictine monk at Saint Abbey and faculty member of Saint John’s University.

Academic Lecture Series on Biblical Art

Saint Luke’s Parish will host Fr. Hollas as part of several planned programs for its “Year With The Saint John’s Bible.”

The year kicks off with a three-part academic lecture series this month. In addition to Fr. Hollas, the talks feature notable scholars in medieval manuscript and art.

All lectures will be held from 9 to 10 a.m. in the Parish Hall, located in the lower level of the Education Building at Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church, 1864 Post Road, Darien. For more information, please call Saint Luke’s at (203) 655-1456.

Sunday, Jan. 13

The Reverend Justin Crisp, associate rector and theologian-in-residence of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in New Canaan, will explore the relationship between worship and art through theology, poetry, music, architecture and more.

Reverend Crisp has been a member of the St. Mark’s clergy since 2014. He is currently completing his Ph.D. in religious studies at Yale University.

He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, Yale Divinity School, Berkeley Divinity School at Yale and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music.

Sunday, Jan. 20

Father Eric Hollas, OSB, will present thoughts on the artist as preacher and will talk about the how the illuminated art in The Saint John’s Bible makes the word of God come alive on the page.

He received his Ph.D. in medieval studies at Yale University following his seminary studies and has an undergraduate degree in History from Princeton University.

Sunday, Jan. 27

Dr. Beatrice Kitzinger will discuss illuminated manuscripts from medieval times to the present-day Saint John’s Bible. Dr. Kitzinger is an assistant professor of Western Medieval art at Princeton University.

She specializes in the art of Western European Middle Ages, particularly manuscript illumination and treasury arts. She received a Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2012.

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