The bold claim from Biblical historians and archaeologists Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman that the Hebrew Bible is the “single most influential literary and spiritual creation in the history of humanity” (made in their book The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts ) articulates the extensive influence that it has had both geopolitically and religioculturally. Yet, simply referring to this literary collection as the Hebrew Bible exposes the tensions and conflicts surrounding its production and reception. In this talk, Rev. Bruno J. Clifton, O.P., argued that it is worth casting a critical eye over this book’s history, the parameters of the collection, and the type of literature it contains in order to evaluate the nature of its influence.
This lecture sought only to set out what is at stake, hoping to stimulate further reflection on the wider cultural and spiritual impact of the Bible on humanity.
This event was sponsored by the Future of the Humanities Project, the Georgetown Humanities Initiative, and Blackfriars Hall, Oxford. It is part of the year-long series, Cultural Encounters: Books that Have Made a Difference.