A paper examining the work of two Old Testament scholars, Robert Barry Leal and Terry L Burden, in their understanding of biblical wilderness alongside the wilderness writings of John Muir.
Otherness is a natural part of our humanity. In infancy it is the way we begin to understand our world. As we mature it is the way we perceive and relate to the people around. It is a means of understanding ourselves. Caution, suspicion and fear are natural ingredients. But what happens when we become involved in ‘a non-existent other’, the figment of imagination or the fruit of manipulation? We explore the themes and emotions of otherness in us all as presented in the variety of characters in To Kill a Mockingbird, especially the ‘other’ that we all fear but cannot leave alone, to the point where in Atticus we find an ‘other’ of a different order and find ourselves surprised by the ‘other’ whom we feared.
Paper read to the Faculty and Postgrad Workshop at the International Baptist Theological Seminary, Prague. For the full version (with documentation) see Michael J Meyer (ed), Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. New Essays, Scarecrow Press, Lanham, Toronto and Plymouth UK, 2010, Chapter 15, pp 231-248.
An experiment in using Music as Midrash to add a new dimension to biblical interpretation with a group of students from Eastern Europe at the International Baptist Theological Seminary in Prague, based on a paper by Helen Leneman, entitled ‘Music and Librettos as Midrash: a New Methodology’, with particular reference to the Book of Ruth, addressing questions rarely addressed by biblical scholars and preachers but which have to be tackled when adapting a story for the stage, and penetrating other layers of the narrative to see what further insights can be brought to the story and to the interpretation when starting in a different place.