Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Welcome message and introduction

I can't believe the first day was only a half-day - loads of pictures and notes. Enough to blog on for a week. I will upload and comment on them as I can.  So who do you recognize in these images?

The pictures from champagne to the final session are at the link.
From Conference-day1
Our introductory session was very full. Susan Gillingham, organizer of the conference, spoke on the 'why' of the conference. In two words - revival and reconciliation. Revival: of psalms studies in the UK. So many UK scholars on the psalms have died: she noted Norman Wybray, J.H. Eaton and Michael Goulder among recent scholars. Some current UK scholars are attending the conference - besides the speakers - John Day and Jonathan Magonet. Susan is concerned about the lack of attention in recent publications and conferences of UK scholars. Why Oxford - She mentioned as did Paul Joyce (chair of theology) that Oxford has an early record 1193 AD of Alexander Neckam of St Alban and a conference on the Psalms. (Did they call them conferences then?) Also famous from Oxford for his notes on parallelism is Robert Lowth (1710-1787), professor of poetry. Near where we were meeting was a Benedictine monastery where the psalms were sung 7 times a day. Chapel continues the tradition 5 times a week (seems a bit less than 49). Nonetheless it's a great place for the conference as one can see from the pictures.

John Barton
John Barton closed the session with a reading of the first paragraph of the introduction to the psalms of St Ambrose - see the text here. He suggested that a full theory of OT theology could be written around the Psalms.

The main portion of the introduction fell to John Sawyer. He had several images and a dance that I will see if I can find and then I will transcribe my extensive notes. I also have notes on the Qumran evening session. This conference is only two days - but I will not finish the blogging till well into next week.