Centre for the Study of the Bible in Theology and Culture – University of Copenhagen

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Centre for the Study of the Bible in Theology and Culture

The Centre for the Study of the Bible in Theology and Culture conducts research into the communication and reception history of biblical texts. The main focus is on two areas: 1) popular cultural interpretations of biblical narratives and themes within the frameworks of both old and new media, including literature, visual art, theatre, film and music; and 2) elite, professional interpretation of the Bible's history and its foundations, as seen in the broader context of the history of ideas.

The Centre for the Study of the Bible in Theology and Culture is housed in the Department for Biblical Exegesis at the Faculty of Theology. The Centre is responsible for compiling research, teaching, communications and information within a field that, on the one hand, is part of exegesis research, and, on the other hand, does not constitute part of the study programme's usual syllabus. The Centre's activities are divided between two main areas:

Reception of the Bible in art and culture

Here, we study how biblical texts, persons, symbols and motifs appear in artistic and cultural contexts. As this requires the study of visual arts, literature, music, film, etc., this part of the Centre's activities will necessarily be multidisciplinary.
However, the aesthetic studies must retain an exegesis perspective, i.e. the focus must be on an understanding of how the Bible is expressed and reflected in the artistic process.

History of the interpretation of the Bible

In this discipline, we think about conscious, "professional" interpretations of the Bible, from antiquity to the latest research. The studies will focus on the methods and practice of Bible interpretation as seen in the context of cultural and social history, epochal conditions and the general academic, artistic and political discourse of the time. However, Bible interpretation is also present in other areas of study - e.g. in sermons, pedagogic communication and, especially, in bible translations.