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November 15, 2018

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Nature within early Jewish and Christian literature

Colloquium topic by Dr. Jackie Wyse-Rhodes

Dr. Jackie Wyse-Rhodes, assistant professor of religion at Bluffton University, will present the Colloquium, “Reading the Cosmos in Second Temple Jewish Literature: Nature as Model, Sign, Punishment, Witness and Mystery,” at 4 p.m. on Sept. 21 in Centennial Hall’s Stutzman Lecture Hall.

Wyse-Rhodes, who recently completed her doctoral dissertation on the topic, will consider portrayals of the natural world in early Jewish and Christian literature.

“For biblical writers, the natural world was a source of inspiration,” says Wyse-Rhodes, “such as when the Psalms invite the reader to join the sun, stars, mountains, oceans and rocks in praise of God the Creator.”

She says nature is variously depicted as a model of righteousness, a sign of things to come, a giver of testimony, an instrument of judgment and a heavenly mystery. Such images informed the religious imaginations of early Jewish and Christian communities, and their meaningfulness endures today.

This event is free and open to the public.