Helen White Lecture: The Invisible Lives of Ethiopic Manuscripts


Saturday, March 5th, 2022


4:00 pm – 5:30 pm


St. Martin-in-the-Fields, 8000 St. Martin's Lane, Philadelphia, PA 19118

Helen White Lecture 2022

This year's Helen White Memorial Lecture will feature Dr. Gay L. Byron, Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the Howard University School of Divinity in Washington, DC. 

In this lecture, Dr. Byron will introduce the Ethiopic (Ge‘ez) Manuscripts housed at the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Duke University. This collection of 112 manuscripts includes biblical writings, liturgical collections and prayer books, hagiographies, hymns, magic (religious) scrolls, theological treatises, and various material artifacts. These sources are a gateway for exploring questions about provenance and the related ethical and cultural questions revolving around ownership of and access to ancient manuscripts and artifacts in Western universities and museums. The lack of attention on Ge‘ez sources yields a one-sided view of antiquity, which invariably renders Ethiopian texts and traditions invisible to biblical interpreters, scholars of religion, and clergy and laity of various church communities.

This year's lecture will take place in-person at the Church of St. Martin-In-The-Fields, and will also stream live to our Youtube channel and Facebook page.

Helen White Memorial Lecture Series

The Helen White Memorial Lecture remembers her lifetime dedication to making the Word of God accessible to "the people in the pews".