OCTOBER 25-26, 2018
This colloquium celebrates the contributions of STM’s Scripture faculty to Catholic biblical scholarship, and the publication of the Paulist Biblical Commentary (Paulist Press, 2018), a single-volume commentary written to be accessible to a wide range of readers and pastoral ministers. Dean Stegman and colloquium presenters are contributors to and coeditors of the commentary; STM faculty respondents are also contributors to the volume.
Scripture in the Life of the Church (Keynote) - Luke Timothy Johnson, Robert W. Woodruff Professor Emeritus of New Testament and Christian Origins, Candler School of Theology, Emory University
The texts that have come to be known as Scripture are the product of a sensus ecclesiae, or a sense among the body of the church that the canonized writings reflect an authentic experience of the Holy Spirit’s influence. The Bible’s collection has provided a source of continuity throughout the history of the Church. How can we renew our engagement with the Scriptures as a source of vitality for the Church of the future?
The Old Testament in the Christian Bible (Session 1) - Presenter: Richard J. Clifford, S.J., Respondent: Michael Simone, S.J., Moderator: Thomas D. Stegman, S.J.
The Old Testament serves as more than mere background to the New, but is a constant reference point for the theology and narrative emerging in the Christian Scriptures. The entire canon is unified by a principle of returning to remember origins, as a way of getting clarity on God’s working in the world. An example of this is in the Exodus with its liberation, covenant, and blessing repeated in the ministry of Jesus par excellence. The process of re-lecture, reading the traditional text in emerging contexts, in action as well as intellectually, continues in the Church today.
The Bible and Justice (Session 2) - Presenter: Carol Dempsey, O.P., Respondent: Andrew R. Davis, Moderator: Thomas D. Stegman, S.J.
When considering the issue of scripture and justice, the Bible’s relevance is found in a dialectic approach, engaging with it as a product of the contexts it has emerged from, as well as the demands of our own context. This means both understanding how the biblical text and it’s concern for justice can inform contemporary issues of justice as well as the Bible’s contributions to the injustices we are facing today. Rather than a sterile abstraction, the biblical concept of justice demands concrete actions and systems. Scripture also models for us the need to engage with difficult questions, even pertaining to God’s justice.
Prayer Texts in the Bible (Session 3) - Presenter: Eileen Schuller, O.S.U., Respondent: Matthew Monnig, S.J., Moderator: Thomas D. Stegman, S.J.
This lecture explores some of the 70-year history of Dead Sea Scrolls scholarship, with particular focus on psalms and other prayer texts. In an effort to understand the prayer life of Jews in the time of Jesus, reading the Qumran texts revealed that there was a rich and ongoing tradition of composing new, psalms, prayers, and other poetic texts that were modeled on the biblical Psalms. The content and structure of these texts, including small portable copies, manifest a diversity of uses and liturgical practices.
The Bible in the Church’s Liturgy (Session 4) - Presenter: Ronald D. Witherup, P.S.S., Respondent: Brian Dunkle, S.J., Moderator: Thomas D. Stegman, S.J.
Since the Reformation there has been a perceived tension between Scripture and Sacrament, but in reality the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist belong together. Instead the liturgy is the privileged context for hearing the inspired Word, many of the Vatican II reforms focused on making the Mass more scriptural. Thus the Word and Eucharist together engage the participants in prayer and an encounter with Christ. If the liturgy can be made more scriptural, can reading the Bible then be made more liturgical?