An Anglo-American History of the KJV

Thursday, 29 September 2011 - Saturday, 1 October 2011
Location: Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol Street, Washington, DC, United States
Organisation: Folger Institute, Folger Shakespeare Library
Topic: Bible


This conference marks the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Version of the Bible (KJV). It will raise issues that speak directly to the influences of this most famous of all English-language translations of the scriptures, exploring them in the context of the Folger Shakespeare Library’s collections, shaping them to the converging interests of the Institute’s many constituencies, and taking direction from the symbolic location of the Library in the capital of the United States. The conference is scheduled in conjunction with an exhibition jointly organized by the Folger and the Bodleian Library.

With plenary lectures, panels, and round tables, discussion will explore the Bible’s role in provoking, defining, and then, in a sense, outlasting the English Reformation as an essential template for life, letters, art, politics, and culture. Speakers will trace the paths the KJV took through the Enlightenment and across democratic movements. Rich case studies will examine how the KJV has shaped denominational as well as secular experiences in Britain and America, touching on the larger worlds both nations encountered in their own imperial moments.

Organizers: Lori Anne Ferrell (Claremont Graduate University) and Kathleen Lynch (Folger Institute).

Plenary speakers: Brian Cummings (University of Sussex), Ena Heller (Museum of Biblical Art), Peter Lake (Vanderbilt University), and Jill Lepore (Harvard University).

Wallspace Gallery Nida Bush Theatre The City of London Westminster Abbey