The Psalms and the Mixed Life

westminster psalter david psalmsnetwork 0

This seminar on 'The Psalms and the Mixed Life' with speaker Mike Kuczynski (Tulane University) is hosted by The Oxford Psalms Network. This lecture will explore the dual private and public (interior- and exterior-directed) nature of the poetry of the Psalms, as prayer and polemic, from the Old English through the Middle English periods. Topics related to this general theme will include the convergences and conflicts between clerical and lay affinity for the Psalms and, more particularly, the 14th c. Augustinian canon Walter Hilton’s treatise on combining the active and contemplative lives; Hilton’s commentaries on Psalms 90 and 91; and Wycliffite revisions of the 14th c. mystic Richard Rolle’s Psalter translation and commentary, which adapt Rolle’s mysticism to more secular concerns. The talk will be of interest to professional medievalists and also accessible to non-specialists who are concerned with literary and social history and practical spirituality. All texts (Latin and Middle English) will be quoted in translation.

This talk is part of the 'New Perspectives on the Psalms: A Series of Public Lectures'.

Well I heard there was a secret chord,
That David played, and it pleased the Lord

(Leonard Cohen, ‘Hallelujah’)

The Oxford Psalms Network is pleased to announce a series of public lectures on the Psalms bringing into conversation contemporary artists, illustrators and musicians with speakers from a range of academic disciplines, including theology, literature, music and art. From the rich tradition of rabbinic commentary through the exegesis of the Church Fathers to contemporary popular song, the Psalms have always been at the core of Judaeo-Christian culture and belief. Lectures will cover topics from the earliest evidence for the singing of the Psalms in ancient Hebrew, Greek and Latin, through medieval and early Modern translations into English, French, German and other languages and intersections with other cultures and faiths, to modern responses in visual culture and music.

All lectures will take place at 6.15pm (arrival from 6.00) in the Ursell Room, Pusey House, St Giles, Oxford, followed by a drinks’ reception.

This is a public event – all are welcome!


The Oxford Psalms Network

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Audience: Open to all