The Influence of the Decalogue: Historical, Theological and Cultural Perspectives –
an Interdisciplinary and International Conference
The Decalogue or the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5) have constantly been received, taught, and transformed over two and a half millennia, not only in religious catechesis and exegetical interpretation, but also in art, music, film, philosophy, and in the history of law. The two tablets of the law have become a fundamental religious icon in both Judaism and Christianity. The Decalogue certainly is one of the most intensely used texts in world history. The first attempt to systematically investigate its fascinating history of reception was made in an interdisciplinary conference organised by Dominik Markl SJ in cooperation with Christine Joynes, Director of the Centre for Reception History of the Bible, at Trinity College Oxford, 16–17 April 2012. The conference was sponsored by Heythrop College, University of London and the Faculty of Theology of the University of Oxford. The papers of the conference are planned to be published next year.
Seventeen speakers from ten countries included Luciane Beduschi (Paris, music), David Clines (Sheffield, Hebrew Bible), Gerhard Lauer (Göttingen, German literature), Christopher Rowland (Oxford, New Testament), Randall Smith (Myser Fellow, Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture, theology) and Steven Wilf (Connecticut, law); international speakers enjoyed the hospitality of Campion Hall. They were joined by thirty delegates including Michael Kirwan SJ (Heythrop, theology), John Langan (Georgetown, philosophy) and Anthony Swindell (Jersey, Bible and literature).
The conference was concluded by a musical presentation of the Heythrop College Consort at Jesus College Chapel (conducted by Joey Draycott and accompanied on the organ by Daniel Chambers), performing settings to music of the Ten Commandments by Tallis, Bach, Haydn, and von Neukomm.