January 2011—Raynor Memorial Libraries will unveil the university's acquisition of The Saint John's Bible: Heritage Edition during Mission Week. Its initial presentation is scheduled for the Mission Week Mass, February 6 at 4 p.m. in Church of the Gesu. Comprising seven volumes, the Heritage Edition is a full-sized reproduction of the modern-day manuscript commissioned by St. John's Abbey and University in Collegeville, Minnesota.
Not since the advent of the printing press in the 15th century has a handwritten and illuminated Bible been commissioned on this scale. The project, 10 years in the making, was directed by renowned calligrapher Donald Jackson, senior scribe in Queen Elizabeth II's Crown Office. Jackson designed a custom script for the work and assembled a team of artists and scribes from around the world that used ancient techniques and materials—goose quills, hand-ground pigments, egg yolks, and 24-karat gold leaf.
The Saint John's Bible includes 160 illuminations, reflecting a contemporary approach to biblical interpretation and incorporating imagery from both Eastern and Western religious traditions. The New Revised Standard Version translation was selected for the text and Dr. Susan Wood, C.S.A., Chair of Marquette's Department of Theology, served on the historic project's advisory committee.
On being presented with a copy of The Saint John's Bible in 2008, Pope Benedict XVI exclaimed, "This is a work of art...this is a great work of art...this is a work for eternity." The Mission Week planning committee, in conjunction with the University Libraries, immediately recognized the connection with this year's theme of religious imagination, as well as the potential for fostering spiritual imagination and educational opportunities for generations to come.
Following the Mission Week activities detailed below, The Saint John's Bible will be readily accessible to the Marquette community. The Heritage Edition will be preserved and permanently displayed in the Prucha Archives Reading Room, located on the third floor of the John P. Raynor, S. J., Library. A different illumination will be presented each day. To date the Libraries have purchased four volumes; the remaining three volumes will be acquired as they become available in 2011-2012.
For more information on the creation of The Saint John's Bible, including books, photos, and videos, see the Libraries' new research guide.
For additional information on viewing the Heritage Edition, please call (414) 288-7256.
Mission Week Events Featuring The Saint John's Bible
Sunday, February 6, 4 p.m. Mission Week Mass; presentation of The Saint John's Bible
Monday, February 7, 11:30 a.m. Panel on the creation of The St. John's Bible (AMU Ballroom). Immediately following the program, two volumes will be on display in the Ballroom.
Monday, February 7, 7 p.m. "Windows to the Soul: Meditative Prayer with the Illuminated Bible." Experience the illuminated text in an evening of reflection with Campus Ministry and Rev. Eric Hollas, O. S. B., AMU Chapel of the Holy Family
Thursday-Friday January 27-28 and Monday-Friday January 31-Feb 4: One volume (Pentateuch) will be on display in the Chapel of the Holy Family; two illuminations may be viewed each day (page turnings at 8:15 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.)
Monday-Friday, February 7-11, AMU Rotunda (2nd floor) and Chapel of the Holy Family: Four volumes and additional framed prints will be on display with page changes at 8:15 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. throughout the week
Ongoing, daily February 1-25, Exhibit, 2nd floor Raynor (near staircase) during all
library hours. "Sacred and Spiritual Writings from the Rare Book Collection,"
including a 1483 printed and hand illustrated Bible, a 19th century manuscript Qur'an, an 1880 Catholic prayerbook
in the Ojibwe language, and spiritual works by Merton, Donne, Hopkins, and
Photo credits: Upper, "Life in Community," Donald Jackson with contribution from Aidan Hart, Copyright 2005, The Saint John's Bible, Order of Saint Benedict, Collegeville, Minnesota, USA, Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Catholic Edition, Copyright 1993, 1989 National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Lower, An opening spread from Wisdom Books shows the "Garden of Desire" illumination from Sirach 24 by Suzanne Moore. ©Terry Anderson Photography.