Manifold Greatness: The Creation and Afterlife of the King James Bible exhibit coming to Saint Michael's College
Saint Michael's College is hosting Manifold Greatness: The Creation and Afterlife of the King James Bible, a national traveling exhibition for libraries that tells the story of the origins, creation, and impact of one of the most influential books in history. The college won a competitive $2,500 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to bring the exhibit to the Saint Michael's College Durick Library.
The traveling display features 14 specially designed graphic panels printed on seven double-sided free-standing banners. The panels combine original text with images of rare books, manuscripts, and art.
The exhibit runs from April 11 to May 11. The library is open Monday through Thursday from 7:15 a.m. through to 1 a.m the next day; Friday, 7:15 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. the next day.
Saint Michael's College Archivist Elizabeth Scott arranged for the exhibit at the college and is coordinator of the project.
Two Lectures on the King James Bible will supplement the exhibit
Thursday, April 19, 4:30 p.m., in Saint Edmunds Hall Farrell Room (#315). “Catholics and the King James Bible: Stories from England, Ireland and America", a talk by Professor Ellie Bagley. Reception following. Ellie Bagley, assistant professor of religion at Middlebury College, is the author of Catholic Critics of the King James Bible, 1611-1911 (forthcoming in March 2012).
Monday, April 23, 12 noon, Tarrant Recreation Center, Hall of Fame Room.
"The Tale of Two Kings: The Creation of the King James Bible from Henry VIII to James I", a talk by Jon Sweeney, author of a number of highly acclaimed books, the latest being a multifaceted appreciation of the King James Bible, titled Verily, Verily: The KJV–400 Years of Influence and Beauty.
Exhibit organizers, developers
The exhibit consists of high-quality reproductions of rare and historic books, manuscripts, and works of art from the Folger and Bodleian collections, combined with interpretive text and related images. It was organized by the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C., and the American Library Association Public Programs Office, and is based on an exhibition developed by the Folger Shakespeare Library and the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, with assistance from the Harry Ransom Center of the University of Texas. The traveling exhibition was made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Influence of the KJB: from Handel's Messiah to Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath
The year 2011 marked the 400th anniversary of the first printing of the King James Bible in 1611. The exhibition highlights the dramatic tale behind the making of this great book, and includes its influence on English and American literature, and its multifaceted impact on culture and society to the present day. A chronological narrative focuses on the book's social, cultural, literary, and religious influence over four centuries, from Handel's Messiah, Melville's Moby-Dick, and Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon to the reading of Genesis - in the King James Bible version - by astronauts orbiting the Moon.
Among the many authors influenced by the language and style of the King James Bible on their work are John Milton, William Blake, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Allen Ginsberg, Marilynne Robinson, John Steinbeck, William Faulkner, and Toni Morrison.
The words of the King James Bible are also heard in a far broader diversity of contexts, from Handel's Messiah and Linus's telling of the nativity story in "A Charlie Brown Christmas," to sermons, public speeches, and the words of the Apollo 8 astronauts - heard live by half a billion to a billion listeners - as they orbited the Moon on Christmas Eve 1968.
Translated over several years by six committees of England's top scholars, the King James Bible became the most influential English translation of the Bible and one of the most widely read books in the world. For many years, it was the predominant English-language Bible in the United States, where it is still widely read today. Even many of those whose lives have been affected by the King James Bible may not realize that less than a century before it was produced, the very idea of the Bible translated into English was considered dangerous and even criminal.