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'The Hearing Ear and the Seeing Eye': transformative listening to the biblical image [Chichester]

by John Harvey

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Part 1 18:04
Part 2 19:54
Part 3 14:54
Part 4 10:07


The paper is conceived as a contribution to the theology of sound and visuality. It explores two related spheres of Christian theology and biblical studies: sound in the Bible and the Bible as sound. In particular, the discussion draws attention to the Scripture’s sound substrate, and how we may listen for the sonorities of the text and the visual representations made after it. The presentation includes a performance of a sound work based upon Habakkuk, chapter 2 and verses 2 to 3. This was composed especially for the ‘Visual Theology 1’ symposium.

The presentation is, here, in four parts (which does not reflect the divisions of the paper), followed by a capture of the sound work that was recorded in situ and direct to digital software.

Further information about 'The Biblical Record' album is available at:



released October 29, 2018

*For: MET (with gratitude).

Personnel: John Harvey and Sheona Beaumont (Introduction).

Instrumentation for performance: Adobe Audition CS6, Akai MPX16 Sample Recorder, Apple MacBook Pro, Gyvazla Omnidirectional lavalier microphone, iRig Mix mixer, Numark Party Mix Controller, and Sony ICD-PX470 digital recorder.

Context: Keynote address presented at 'Visual Theology I' symposium, Bishop's Palace, Chichester (October 19, 2018).

Source for performance: American Bible Society, 'The Old Testament', Talking Bible series, 4 vols, III, (New York: American Foundation for the Blind, 1965).


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John Harvey Aberystwyth, UK

I’m a practitioner and historian of sound art and visual art, and Professor of Art at the School of Art, Aberystwyth University, UK. My research field is the sonic and visual culture of religion. I explore the sonic articulations of the Christian religion by engaging visual, textual, and audible sources, theological and cultural ideas, and systemic and audiovisualogical processes. ... more

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