Bach’s St John Passion, is one of the great masterpieces of Western classical music. But in more recent years, it’s also been known as controversial, specifically for its text, drawn in part from the Gospel of John, which are often criticized as anti-Semitic. How can we reflect on this work carefully, critically, and with nuance?
In our forthcoming free panel discussion, titled Art, Religion, and Culture: Bach and St John Passion, we will expand on the historical context behind the work’s creation, and explore what performing this work in today’s world means.
In this post, meet our panelists, local scholars of art, history, and theology who will offer contexts and insights for thinking about Bach St John Passion.
Fr. Scott Lewis, S.J. is an associate professor of New Testament at Regis College, and a founding member of the Toronto School of Theology. He is a past president of the Canadian Catholic Biblical Association.
Art historian Katharine Lochnan is adjunct professor at Regis College and senior curator emeritus at the Art Gallery of Ontario. She is also project consultant to the Toronto School of Theology for the development of a new stream in Theology, Spirituality, and Art.
Gordon Rixon, S.J., Ph.D. is an associate professor and past dean at Regis College, the Jesuit School of Theology at the University of Toronto. He specializes in social reconciliation and has an interest in theological aesthetics.
Ivars Taurins is the founding director of the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir, now in its 39th season. He was also founding member and violist of the Tafelmusik Orchestra for its first 23 years. Under his direction, the choir has been praised for its clarity, nuance, and brilliance. He is the director of Bach St John Passion, the parent program of this panel.
Norman Tobias is a jurist, emeritus adjunct professor of law, and historian. His doctoral dissertation, as adapted, was published in 2017 with Palgrave Macmillan under the title Jewish Conscience of the Church: Jules Isaac and the Second Vatican Council. He has written the definitive backstory of one of the fruits of the Second Vatican Council, the Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions, specifically to Jews and Judaism.
Our panel will be facilitated by the Rev. Dr. Michelle Voss Roberts. As a professor of theology and principal of Emmanuel College of Victoria University in the University of Toronto, the Rev. Dr. Michelle Voss Roberts (Ph.D. Emory University 2006) works to build communities of dialogue across different religious traditions. Among her many publications, her interreligious research on the arts and religious experience can be found in Tastes of the Divine: Hindu and Christian Theologies of Emotion (Fordham University Press, 2014), which received the Award for Excellence from the American Academy of Religion.
Our panel discussion takes place Monday March 2, 2020, 7pm, at Jeanne Lamon Hall, Trinity-St. Paul's Centre. This is a free general admission event, but you must present a ticket to ensure entry. RESERVE NOW
This panel is presented as part of our Bach St John Passion program. LEARN MORE