Monday, 10 January 2011

Bible and Culture: Bible Year 2011 (5)

emilia foxHonestly, this isn’t just an excuse to post a picture of Emilia Fox. Ms Fox was one of the actors who took part in the Readings from the King James Bible on Radio 4 yesterday. As part of the celebrations for the 400th anniversary of the KJV the BBC has been running a series of programmes on the Bible with a particular emphasis on its cultural significance. You can download the readings from the BBC website but you will need to get a move on as they are only available for seven days.

A few bloggers have raised concerns about the focus on the cultural significance of the KJV, arguing that this detracts from encountering the Bible as relevant and significant for people’s lives today and I posted about that in Mythbusting. Others are much more positive about the cultural dimension and are also well worth reading. Maggi Dawn has written a post on the BBC programmes and her book Writing on the Wall explores the impact of the Bible on our culture.

Jonathan Evens has written a short story The New Dark Ages which he is publishing in parts on his blog. I’m grateful to Jonathan for sending me an advanced copy and it is a fascinating and thought provoking reflection on the damage caused by forgetting our cultural heritage, not least the Bible. A character in the story, journalist Don Wolf, writes:
Culture, to be preserved, must be lived and breathed in order that it fertilises future creativity and learning. Too much of our current culture is already blind to the extent to which it utilises and is informed by past culture. We think and act as though we emerge from the womb as fully formed independent individuals with no debt to nurture, yet our every thought and word and action is inevitably and unconsciously predicated on some past learning.
This year, we celebrated a cultural artefact – the 1611 King James Version Bible – which is among those artefacts that will shortly be lost from sight should this dark blight on our culture continue its relentless progress. When this Bible is lost from sight, we will not only lose the artefact itself but all that it has contributed to our culture in terms of imagery, story, phraseology and much, much more.
From my own point of view the opportunity to listen to Emilia Fox’s voice must be a good thing and the fact I can do that during my personal devotions makes it even better.


Maggi said...

nice post, Phil - thanks for the mention!

paul said...

I may post a picture of Grace Park, on the basis that I am obliged to look at her as I make my daily study of Battlestar Galactica, my current arena for theological reflection and refreshment... ;-)