Christian-Muslim Encounters in Texts

This week, the School of Divinity hosts the first conference of the Global Network for Christian-Muslim Studies,  Reframing Christian-Muslim Encounter : Theological and Philosophical Perspectives.

In a new display in New College Library, we can see some Christian-Muslim encounters in texts from New College Library’s collections.  These texts record Christian reactions to the Muslim encounters Turkish military campaigns brought close to home, and the preparations of Christian missionaries to venture into Muslim territories. 

Robert, of Chester, active 1143, Peter, the Venerable, approximately 1092-1156, Bibliander, Theodorus (1504-1564), Luther, Martin (1483-1586) Melanchthon, Philipp (1497-1560), Machumetis Saracenorum principis, eius’ que successorum vitae, doctrina, ac ipse Alcoran.
(Basel, 1550) MH.163

At the same time as Martin Luther was challenging the authority of the papacy using scripture, the military campaigns of the Turks were approaching closer into Europe. Luther approached this encounter with Islam by inquiring into Islamic texts, which culminated in his involvement in this publication in Latin of the Qur’ān. Continue reading

John Calvin – Works and Correspondence now available online

By Flemish school (Unknown) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. On permanent display in Espace Ami Lullin of the Bibliothèque de Genève.

John Calvin 1509-1564. By Flemish school (Unknown) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
On permanent display in Espace Ami Lullin of the Bibliothèque de Genève.

Newly available to University of Edinburgh users is the online version of the Works of John Calvin, including the Institutes of the Christian Religion. This is the edition of the Institutes translated by Ford Lewis Battles and  published by Westminster Press in  1960. Also included are Calvin’s  Tracts and Treatises (3 vols.), translated by Henry Beveridge, originally published by the Calvin Translation Society (Edinburgh) in 1851,and Letters of John Calvin (4 vols.), edited by Dr. Jules Bonnet, translated by David Constable, originally published in 1855-57.  This online version complements the many printed editions of Calvin’s works which are available at New College Library.

Online access for University of Edinburgh users  is available via the Past Masters Database – see http://www.ed.ac.uk/is/databases-a-z under ‘P’.

This resource was purchased for the forthcoming Calvin in Context course at the School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh.

Digital Library of Latin Texts is now available

LLTLibrary of Latin Texts - Series BLibrary of Latin Texts (LLT) Series A & B  is now available  to University of Edinburgh Users. Access is available on campus and off campus via the VPN – find LLT on the A-Z Databases list or the Divinity subject list.

The Library of Latin Texts – Series A (formerly known as the Cetedoc Library of Christian Latin Texts) contains texts taken from the Corpus Christianorum series. These include the Vulgate and the Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, the complete corpus of decrees from the ecumenical Church councils from Nicaea to Vatican II and many Latin versions (ancient, medieval or modern) of works by Aristotle, Averroes, Avicenna, Dionysius the Areopagite, Flavius Josephus, Irenaeus of Lyon, Maximus the Confessor, Origen, Plato and Porphyrus. Each text draws on additional intensive research work undertaken by the Centre ‘Traditio Litterarum Occidentalium’. The complementary Library of Latin Texts – Series B database gathers other Latin texts of all genres and all periods including chronicles, medieval saints’ lives and travel narratives, legal texts, and theological, philosophical and scientific treatises from the early modern period, drawn from existing scholarly editions.

J.H. Oldham (1874-1969) : Missionary and Ecumenical Pioneer

Faith on the frontier : a life of J.H. Oldham / K.W. Clements. New College Library BX6.8.O54 Cle.

Faith on the frontier : a life of J.H. Oldham / K.W. Clements. New College Library BX6.8.O54 Cle.

Today, 16 May, is the anniversary of the death of J.H. Oldham.

Joseph Houldsworth Oldham (1874-1969) was a missionary and pioneer of ecumenism. The organising secretary for the 1910 World Missionary Conference in Edinburgh, he also founded the journal International Review of Missions. During the Second World War the meetings of his ‘Moot’ group initiated new thinking about Christian responsibility in modern society.

New College Library holds a substantial collection of J.H. Oldham’s papers,  which include correspondence, material relating to the Moot including minutes (1938-1947), lectures, sermons, papers and reports.

You can read more about J.H. Oldham and the Oldham Papers here , or in Faith on the frontier : a life of J.H. Oldham  by K.W. Clements, in  New College Library at BX6.8.O54 Cle.

Christianity in facts and figures – Online Reference Resources

Did you know that the the World Christian Database is now available online to University of Edinburgh users? It provides access to comprehensive statistical information on world religions, Christian denominations, and people groups. Use it for research on religious activities, growth rates, religious literature, worker activity, and demographic statistics. Additional secular data is incorporated on population, health, education, and communications.

Also, if you previously consulted the UK Christian Handbook, you’ll find it useful to know that it is now freely available online as the Christian Resources Directory,  listing  Christian services, agencies, businesses and organisations in the UK.  Archived print editions remain available at the National Library of Scotland. Christian Resources Directory

Princeton Index of Christian Art now available

Princeton Index of Christian Art

The Princeton Index of Christian Art is now available to University of Edinburgh users – see the list of Image Databases.

The Index of Christian Art, produced by Princeton University, is a thematic / iconographic index of Early Christian and medieval art objects, from early apostolic times up to A.D. 1550. While there is a focus on art of the western world, the database also has significant holdings from Coptic Egypt, Lebanon, Ethiopia, Syria, Armenia, and the Near East. There are about 140,000 images in the database. For copyright reasons approximately 35,000 of these are restricted access to the Princeton campus only, but the bibliographic reference to the image in the citation should allow a book that contains the image to be traced.

World Christian Database on trial now

wcd_headerWorld Christian Database is now available on trial access to University of Edinburgh Users. Access is available on campus and off campus via the VPN. The trial ends on 14 February. See the eresources trials web page for more information.

The World Christian Database provides comprehensive statistical information on world religions, Christian denominations, and people groups. Extensive data are available on 9,000 Christian denominations, 13,000 ethnolinguistic peoples, as well as data on 5,000 cities, 3,000 provinces and 239 countries.

To fast or feast? Celebrating Christmas in the eighteenth century

A discourse concerning the lawfulness and right manner of keeping Christmas and other Christian holy-days, by way of question and answer : intended for the use of a charity-school. London: Printed for, and sold by H. Hills, in Black-fryars, near the Water-side, 1708 New College Library Z.851/3

A discourse concerning the lawfulness and right manner of keeping Christmas and other Christian holy-days, by way of question and answer : intended for the use of a charity-school. London: Printed for, and sold by H. Hills, in Black-fryars, near the Water-side, 1708 New College Library Z.851/3

Many folk will be going to Christmas lunches and parties this week – including New College Library staff. Outside our office window the Edinburgh Christmas fair is in full (and noisy) swing, celebrating the season.

This eighteenth century pamphlet,  A discourse concerning the lawfulness and right manner of keeping Christmas,  gives an eighteenth century view on seasonal celebrations.  It takes the form of a dialogue between a master and scholar, prefacing the discussion with the quotation of Bible texts that urge sincere and temperate behaviour. It unpicks the theology of Christmas from an early eighteenth century Anglican point of view,  negotiating the scriptural and historical justifications of the observance of Christmas as a holy day and the contemporary differences in practice with other Protestant Churches. The author looks back on the abolishment of Christmas celebrations (including plum pudding) under Oliver Cromwell’s Puritan regime after the English Civil War. It is possible both this period and the Restoration of 1660 may have been within the author’s living memory.

This book is also available online to University of Edinburgh users via Eighteenth Century Collections Online, where it can be read online in full.

This item is from New College Library’s Z Collection, currently being catalogued as part of the Funk Cataloguing Projects at New College Library.

New on display – The Nativity in twentieth century art

The Bible in 20th century art / introduced by Nicholas Usherwood. New College Library sfYF 67 BIB

The Bible in 20th century art / introduced by Nicholas Usherwood. New College Library sfYF 67 BIB

New on display in New College Library’s Funk Special Collections Reading Room, is The Bible in 20th Century art It  is opened to show a painting of The Nativity by Bernard Buffet  (1961), the original of which is held in the collection of the Vatican Museum.

A puzzle of Presbyterian history

Notes on the Presbyterian church in New Zealand. By P. B., fl. ca 1860. New College Library – Special Collections. P.f.14/24

Today the School of  Divinity welcomes Dr Hugh Morrison, a visiting Fellow from Otago, who is speaking at the World Christianity Research Seminar on “Doing religious history ‘down under:’ challenges and opportunities in the New Zealand context.”

A recent challenge for the the Funk Cataloguing Projects here at New College Library was this nineteenth century pamphlet, “Notes on the Presbyterian Church in New Zealand”. Little is known about this item or its author, P.B. From clues within the pamphlet we have garnered that the writer was active in the 1860s and the item was probably published in Scotland.

The union catalogue of UK research libraries, COPAC, lists New College Library as the only known location in the UK for this pamphlet