Event info

Tuesday, November 14, 2017 - 7:30pm

FREE; seating is first-come, first-served.


Museum Symposium Keynote Lecture: “Jacob and the Bishop: Where Faith and Art Meet” 

N.T. Wright, Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity, St. Mary’s College, University of St. Andrews, Scotland

In 1756, Bishop Richard Trevor of Durham, England, bought Jacob and His Twelve Sons, a series of 13 paintings by the famous Spanish artist Zurbarán depicting the Hebrew patriarch and each of his 12 sons – the individuals who would become the founders of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. Trevor extended the long dining room at his residence, Auckland Castle, to provide a worthy showcase for the artworks. He also intended to communicate to the leaders of northern England the fact – which was very controversial at the time, as it has been from time to time since then – that the Jewish people and their traditions have a valued and honored place in national life. Apart from brief absences for exhibitions, cleaning, etc., the paintings have been there ever since, still conveying the same message and providing much food for thought in today’s confused, pluralistic society. The paintings are now making their first-ever visit to America for an exhibition at the Meadows Museum from September 17, 2017 through January 7, 2018. These stunning artworks invite reflection on the way in which the ancient Israelite traditions were carried forward into “Christian art,” and the way in which that art then reflects back on those ancient traditions and out into the wider world. They also communicate the way in which faith and art, so often polarized today, can and perhaps should inform and reinforce one another.

Nicholas Thomas Wright is a leading British New Testament scholar, theologian and retired Anglican bishop. He received his D.Phil. and D.D. degrees from Oxford, and taught New Testament studies for 20 years at Cambridge, McGill and Oxford universities. He served as Bishop of Durham, living with the Zurbarán paintings in Auckland Castle, from 2003 until his retirement in 2010. Since then he has served as research professor of New Testament and early Christianity at St. Mary’s College in the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. A noted writer and speaker, he is the author of more than 70 books.


For more information, call 214.768.8587.