Immigration in the New Jerusalem

This is not satire, if you can believe it. Bryan Fischer writes: The Scriptures tell us that the eternal city of his coming kingdom will be surrounded by “a great high wall with twelve gates” (Revelation 21:12), each guarded by an angel so undocumented intruders cannot enter. Identification papers will be scrutinized carefully before anyone [Read More…]

Creation and Creativity

Coming up on February 22nd is an exhibit and performance connected with the seminar on religion, spirituality, and the arts run by Sandy Sasso. It will include a performance of Aaron Copland’s “In The Beginning,” and so I am delighted to be able to get the students from my course on the Bible and music to [Read More…]

Bishop as Composer

The above is a setting of the Psalms known as the “songs of ascent” (or similar titles), by Russian Orthodox bishop and composer Hilarion Alfeyev. Below is his setting of St. Matthew’s Passion. And here is his Christmas Oratorio:     He is also the author of numerous books…   [Read more…]

January 2017 Biblical Studies Carnival

The latest Biblical Studies Carnival is hosted by Cassandra Farrin, and focuses on bibliobloggers’ reactions to the U. S. election as well as their coverage of more typical topics in our field. (Philip Long also provides information about upcoming carnivals, including your opportunities to volunteer to host one!) [Read more…]

Ēriks Ešenvalds’ Passions

Today my class on the Bible and music is picking up a thread from last time – Passion – and tracing it down to the present day, including into film scores. Students have been asked to listen to some things in common but also to explore and bring “show and tell.” If I am asked [Read More…]

Moroccan Jewish Psalms

In exploring the traditions of chanting or singing the Psalms and other scriptures, I came across the above YouTube channel which features music of the Sephardic Jewish tradition, more specifically from Morocco. Can you detect that the tonality is not that of Western even-tempered music? You can find demonstrations of the relevant scales (also used [Read More…]

SBL Hebrew Bible, History, and Archaeology Statement on Immigration

From the Society of Biblical Literature’s “Hebrew Bible, History, and Archaeology” program unit: Statement on the recent U.S. Executive Order: “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” We, the steering committee of “Hebrew Bible, History, and Archaeology” of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) and “Methods of Historiography in the Study [Read More…]

José María Ponce de León, ‘Ester’

A biblical opera by 19th century Columbian composer José María Ponce de León. [Read more…]

Susan Bingham’s Biblical Operas

Here are videos from YouTube with recordings of Susan Bingham’s settings of Biblical stories: [Read more…]

Introducing Metrical Psalms

For the first time since I’ve been teaching, I brought a guitar with me to class and sang to/with my students. Teaching a course on the Bible and music does strange things to one’s pedagogy. I decided to record the class, mainly so that I could see what it was like. Not nearly as bad [Read More…]