Saturday, November 18, 2006

Matthew Francis Goes to Washington

Yes, this is me standing in front of the White House. I've come here to Washington to attend the Annual Congress of the Society of Biblical Literature. It is a place filled with lots and lots of talk. There are about 4000 Religious Studies and Theology profs hanging around, talking on and on about one thing or another. And I diligently did my part. First thing this morning I presented my paper in the "Bible and American Popular Culture" Section, and our theme for this year was "Speciality Bibles." There is a pretty diverse selection of Bibles out there, including "Biblezines" which contain the whole text of the New Testament in a format akin to Seventeen or Men's Health . I wonder what Marshall McLuhan might think of these? I'm pretty happy with how it went, and had some helpful feedback from some of the attendees. A prof. from Texas presented on the very odd illustrated Bible called The Brick Testament, which has Biblical scenes conveyed entirely through Lego. (Warning: Not suitable for all viewers). My paper was entitled "The Orthodox Study Bible and Orthodox Identity in North America", and attempts to understand the meaning of the volume put out in 1993, interestingly by the same publisher as the Biblezines (collaboratively with a whole bunch of Orthodox clergy). Some people loved it, some people didn't. Whatever side you take, I argue it's still an important publication. If you're interested in conversing about this, feel free to post a comment or to email me.

Anyway, its been good to be here (after a crazy all-night flight and sprinting my lungs out in Toronto to catch my connection), and to see friends old and new. Oh yeah, and there's a room the size of two football fields full of theological books for sale at discount prices. Help!!

It is only minor consolation to know that during this sojourn, missing Krista and home... I can take solace in billions of words - I pray that some of them might even be meaningful.



Blogger Owen's Mama said...

When are you guys coming out here? I ran into your Dad Matthew, and he said we were not to keep you all for oursleves.

11:00 PM  
Blogger Krista said...

great picture...I miss you, Matthew!

Oh yes! we are coming down for Christmas and New Years....we'll chat soon.... :) Miss you guys too...say hi to our Godson for us....Hi Owen!!! :)...first Christmas coming up...yaayyy!!!

11:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Matthew, your dad sent my mother (Aunt Jeanne) a link to this blog. Uncle Al had given me your email address, but it didn't survive a clothes wash. Could you or Krista email me at Thanks! ---Cousin Katie

8:36 PM  
Blogger daniel greeson said...

Hey matthew,
found ur blog just by googling ur name, its been great to connect. We must definitely keep in touch. my blog is in my blogger profile.

anywho, travel safely back to Canada...


8:51 PM  
Blogger Matthew Francis said...

katie: thanks so much for your note. We'll for sure send you an email. Lovely to hear from family!

Dan: Yes, it was great to meet you here at the conference, and to get to talk a bit. It would be excellent to keep in touch.

7:11 AM  
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