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Take this free course from the University of Notre Dame on the Saint John’s Bible

The Saint John's Bible

The Saint John's Bible | Facebook | Fair Use

Zelda Caldwell - published on 02/12/20

“We are seeking to deepen people’s relationship with Scripture and help them learn how to interpret it through The Saint John’s Bible,” said Carolyn Pirtle at McGrath Institute.

The University of Notre Dame’s McGrath Institute for Church Life is offering a free online class on The Saint John’s Bible, the first handwritten and illuminated Bible commissioned by a Benedictine Abbey since the invention of the printing press.

Commissioned in 1998, the Bible was completed at Minnesota’s St. John’s Abbey and University in 2011, using the same techniques used in ancient illuminated texts, such as the use of quills on calf-skin vellum, gold and platinum leaf, and hand-ground pigments.

The online course, “Journey with The Saint John’s Bible,” features instructors from Notre Dame’s theology department and Program of Liberal Studies, the McGrath Institute, and The Hesburgh Library’s Rare Books & Special Collections.

Divided into six units, the course covers The Saint John’s Bible, but also explores the use of art in Christian life, and guides the participant in using art in prayer.

According to the McGrath Institute, the course “addresses the role of art in Christian life, the tradition of illuminated manuscripts, and unpacks several illuminations from The Saint John’s Bible along with the Scripture passages they depict. Five units will feature videos that explain the illuminations and selections from Scripture, and guided experiences of lectio and visio divina, offering viewers an opportunity to pray with Scripture and art.”

“We are seeking to deepen people’s relationship with Scripture and help them learn how to interpret it through The Saint John’s Bible,” said Carolyn Pirtle, Program Director of the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy at the McGrath Institute.

“Art can be used as a gateway to help them do that, and it’s always done with the hope and the goal of drawing them more deeply into Scripture itself,” she said.

To sign up for updates about the free online course visit the McGrath Institute for Church Life website.

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