St. Augustine. De Civitate Dei.
Basel: Johann Amerbach, 13 February 1489
Bridwell Library - Special Collections
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Bridwell Library’s rare book holdings include the most influential and authoritative texts from the Christian tradition. Those selected for this exhibition illustrate the ways in which Christian readers of centuries past used and sought to comprehend their books.
The exhibition focuses first on the essential writings of 34 famous Christian authors, including St. Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Bridget of Sweden, Thomas ŕ Kempis, Martin Luther, Jean Calvin, Teresa of Ŕvila, and the founder of Methodism, John Wesley.
Each of these authors is introduced with a brief biographical sketch that is accompanied, wherever possible, by a portrait (real or imaginary) found within an early edition of his/her works. These books are joined by early editions of each authors’ most important works; the copies that have been most heavily read and annotated by their early owners.
The sometimes homely but always fascinating traces of ownership, use, and interpretation offer important insights into what these books meant to earlier generations of Christian readers. Their personalized marginal annotations also help us better to understand the significance that these books held within the broader history of Christian devotion and education.
Proceeding chronologically, the exhibition begins with essential works by the Church Fathers and the central authorities of later medieval theology, and continues with popular guides to personal piety, core arguments by the Protestant Reformers, expressions of Counter-Reformation spirituality, and important texts by English authors that inspired early Methodist readers.
The exhibition will be free and open to the public from Sept. 6 through Dec. 14, 2007, in the Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Galleries of Bridwell Library, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, 6005 Bishop Blvd., Dallas, TX 75275.
For information please call 214-768-3483 or visit the Bridwell Library website.
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