Sukkot: Thanksgiving & Remembrance

Sukkot is one of the most joyful festivals on the Jewish calendar. Occurring shortly after the “Days of Awe” of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, Sukkot is a week-long thanksgiving for the fall harvest, which in Israel is usually completed in September.1 The holiday also commemorates God’s protection of the Israelites during the Exodus and the forty years of wandering in the desert. But what can an ancient holiday that most non-Jews have never heard of teach Christians today, and what is it about Sukkot that Rabbi Meir Soloveichik posits “speaks profoundly to the moral and spiritual challenges of our time”?2

The Regent University Library and the School of Divinity invite the CBN and Regent communities to join us for this special event. Rabbi Dr. Israel Zoberman, founder of Temple Lev Tikvah and senior rabbi scholar at Eastern Shore Chapel Episcopal Church, will explain the meaning and significance of Sukkot and its place in the liturgical year. There will also be traditional Sukkot Scriptural readings in Hebrew and English.
For more information and a link to register for in-person and online attendance, see our Sukkot event page.

1For a concise account of the annual agricultural cycle in Israel and its relationship to the cycle of Jewish holidays, see Les Saidel, “The Circle of a Year,” The Jerusalem Post, September 25, 2019, https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/the-circle-of-a-year-603008

2Rabbi Meir Soloveichik, “Sacred Time Ep 4: Sukkot – The Eternal Lulav and Etrog,” YouTube Video, 35:15, October 5, 2018, https://youtu.be/3zExi3hCwN8?si=gqAOJy7IpAbbRZ3O

 

Library Book Club Schedule for 2023-2024

The Library Book Club was launched in 2008 with the goal of bringing members of the Regent and CBN communities together to read and discuss important works of literature in an informal setting.

This academic year, the Library Book Club schedule is comprised of five classic Christian works chosen by the librarians from 25 Books Every Christian Should Read. In selecting our list of five books, we tried to pick works that are on the to-read list of many Christians and are just waiting for the right opportunity to occur, such as a group read in a Christian book club.

While there is no requirement to finish a book to come to the discussion, we have scheduled the list so that even the longest book, The Brothers Karamazov, can be completed with a commitment to read (or listen) a little each day. All the titles are available from the Library in print and e-books formats and in audiobook through Audible, Hoopla, or Libby.

For the complete schedule and links to register for in-person or video participation, see the Library Book Club homepage. For additional information, contact Harold Henkel

Book Discussion: Job & Oedipus: Evil, Affliction, and Scapegoating

Sphinx and Oedipus, ca. 450 BC*

The existence of evil and suffering by the good is one of the eternal questions of life. In the Hebrew Bible and literature of the ancient Greeks, nowhere is this problem projected in greater starkness then the Book of Job and the Oedipus Rex. For the final Book Club discussion of this year, Professor of English Dr. Jeremy Larson will lead a discussion of these two great works. To better understand the similarities and differences in these stories, we will also look at an essay by Catholic philosopher René Girard. For more information and links to suggested readings, see the Library Book Club webpage.

What: Library Book Club
When: March 30, 2023, 12:00 pm
Where: Library Conference Room and Zoom.

*Sphinx & Oedipus, Theoi Project. https://www.theoi.com/Gallery/M18.3.html.

Book Discussion: Noah & Odysseus: Clothing, Custom, Law

 

Princess Nausikaa encounters shipwrecked Odysseus*

In Genesis 9 and Odyssey 6, Noah and Odysseus endure the humiliation of nakedness, from which they are rescued by the prudence of Shem and Japheth in Genesis and the feistiness of the princess Nausikaa in the Odyssey. What can the actions and narrative style of these stories tell us about the cultures of ancient Israel and Greece? Join Professor of Hebrew and Biblical theology Dr. Jordan Jones and the Library Book Club for a discussion of these brief episodes from two of the foundational books of Western Civilization. We will conclude our meeting with a look at Homer’s image of the marriage bed of Odysseus and Penelope as a symbolic tree of life and compare it with the Tree of Life in Genesis and Proverbs. For more information and links to suggested readings, see the Library Book Club webpage.

What: Library Book Club
When: February 24, 2023, 12:00 pm
Where: Library Conference Room and Zoom.

*Alice and Martin Provensen, “Odysseus & Nausicaa,” 1956, in The Iliad and the Odyssey, (Golden Press, 1956) https://www.flickr.com/photos/16472880@N06/3394901226/

 

Book Discussion: A Child is Born

Georgics, Book III: Shepherd with Flocks (c. 5th century)

Virgil, Georgics, Shepherds with Flocks (c. 5th century)

Did the greatest poet of ancient Rome prophesy the birth of Christ? Professor of English Dr. Michael Elam will lead a discussion about the nearly identical language in Virgil’s fourth Eclogue (c. 42 BC) and the Nativity prophesies in the Book of Isaiah. Was Virgil a Messianic prophet, as Augustine believed? Was he familiar with the Hebrew Scriptures through Greek translation? Or, As T. S. Eliot argued, do Virgil’s works simply foreshadow a new moral vision that the early Church would in time spread to all corners of the known world? For more information and links to suggested readings, see the Library Book Club webpage.

What: Library Book Club
When: December 2, 2022, 12:00 pm
Where: Library Conference Room and  Zoom.