'I've been deeply impressed by Illuminating the Word. St John's
University in Minnesota is making a handwritten Middle Ages-style illuminated
Bible, but using modern images [
Arts,10 February]. The Prophets (one of the finished five books) is
currently on display in the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. The
illustrations are extraordinarily subtle, and the book draws us into the
meaning of the biblical words.
With images taken from Rwanda, Vietnam, and the everyday junk of our own
lives, the illustrators show the rainbow of promise peeping through the debris.
The Son of Man emerges from the shadows of monsters that are blown-up images of
the HIV virus. The book traces the research to get the right image, and
encourages us to open our minds to the meaning and beauty of the Bible. It is
contemporary, using the tools of our past, but in a way that is relevant to our
I've also been reading Prayer and the Priesthood of Christ by
Graham Redding, which looks at how Calvinist doctrines are under-stood now. The
author shows that Christ is the only priest, and that Christ dwells within us.
Though the Roman Catholic and Reformed traditions seem so far apart, we
converge on Christ, who is the centre of our lives. It's a beautifully written
book, and there is a special joy in reading the wonderful expressions that show
us the place of the Lord in our lives.
I don't think that any Christian can study Christology enough. In The
Meaning of Jesus, Marcus Borg and N. T. Wright also have different visions
of Christ, but share common ground. These two great theologians know and love
God; and, despite their different viewpoints, they are one with each other in
faith. I am encouraged by this.'
Christopher Calderhead and Jerry Kelly, Illuminating the Word, Liturgical
Press US (dist. Veritas), £21.25, 0-8146-9050-5; Graham Redding,
Prayer and the Priesthood of Christ, T & T Clark, £25 (
0-567-04241-3; Marcus Borg and N. T. Wright, The Meaning of Jesus,
SPCK, £14.99 (