To Promote The Common Good

The Anglican chaplaincy’s contribution to the West End Festival here in Glasgow was to offer a continuous reading of St John’s Gospel from the Authorised Version (King James Version) of the Bible. Seven readers — this blogger included — processed into the University chapel, stood and sat for twenty-one chapters, and proclaimed the Johannine gospel for the dozen patient listeners who attended the reading in person, and for the (no doubt innumerable) online viewers who looked into the University chapel webcam.
The reading went well. Each of us, I think, slipped up on word order occasionally (I know I did); it’s extraordinarily difficult to maintain the Jacobean word order for negation and copulation, even after rehearsing, even when you are looking directly at the words in question. Some “you” for “ye” (or vice versa), some coughing, and so on — but no fumbles as disruptive as, say, Robert Green’s blunder. I’ve said for ages that the New Testament texts benefit from being heard straight through, and last night that certainly proved true for John’s Gospel.
Plus, Oxford University Press evidently heard about our special event and sent us seven copies of the KJV from their “World’s Classics” series. I can’t wait to read through and find out how the story ends!
After a half pint with other readers at the Ubiquitous Chip, I strolled home and fell asleep. This morning, after I post this, I will head back to the Uni to join my union colleagues in protesting the Principal’s plan to lay off teaching staff in Life Sciences, Education, and Archaeology (archaeologists, represent!). Then, of course, I’ll hurry home to watch the US and England football games. With the weak quality of some of the teams that qualified, it’s extra sad that Scotland and Ireland (in a sense, Ireland especially, because the discordant French team qualified at Ireland’s expense on a hand ball) couldn’t qualify too. I’ll be rooting for Ghana, the only African team left in the mix; if they’re eliminated, I’ll have to reassess and choose a European or South American team. (I’m assuming that even if the US or England make it into the knock-out tournament, they won’t last long.)
Off, now, to demonstrate my solidarity with Indiana Jones and the biologists and education faculty. . . .

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