In Praise of Arvo Part (ii)

Among the sacred works of the contemporary composer Arvo Part, the mighty Passio (1982), which sets to music the Vulgate text of St John’s narrative of Christ’s Passion, is the best known. It begins with a wall of sound in which the Chorus announces the topic of the work, and proceeds with other voices taking the parts of the Evangelist, Jesus (a […]

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Notes on Genesis (xxxiv) Abram in dialogue with God

‘The word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision.’ (Gen 15:1) The Orthodox Study Bible suggests a Christological interpretation of this phrase by the use of a capital letter (Word), but this may be a case of over-interpretation, for the Septuagint uses the Greek word rhema, not logos; note that the Vulgate goes for ‘sermo’, not ‘verbum’. Interestingly, the ‘word of […]

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Remembering the Round Reading Room

For many generations of scholars working in the Humanities, the Round Reading Room of the British Library, for most of its life a subsidiary of the British Museum, was a kind of home. Rows of desks pointed inwards from the circular walls, to an inner circle where the catalogues were kept, in the form of hefty books one had to pull out from […]

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