Back to the Bible Attracting Diverse Audience

October 30, 2009

Xavier University’s Back to the Bible marathon public Bible reading is attracting readers from all over and from all walks of life. Various versions of the Bible will be used to read in numerous languages, both of the reader’s choice. At election time, where the focus is often on change, it is important to pause and remember the fundamentals on which our society and democracy are based.

Organizer Rabbi Abie Ingber calls the marathon, expected to run for 60+ hours, a "chance to slow down and come together." The effort is being led by four students in Xavier’s Interfaith Club, who have majors in theology, biology, psychology and nursing.
Beginning at 10am on Tuesday, November 3, Xavier students, faculty, staff and members of the Greater Cincinnati community will begin reading the Book of Genesis aloud, and stop at the end of the Hebrew Scriptures (II Chronicles). Back to the Bible will be in the Gallagher Student Center on Xavier’s campus.
Sampling of readers:
Tuesday, November 3
10:00 am Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk (using the Latin Vulgate) and Dr. Inayat Malik, board member of the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati; Dean James Diamond of Christ Church Cathedral (Episcopal)
2:30 pm Marie Giblin, chair of Xavier’s Theology Department
3:00 pm Xavier president Fr. Michael Graham
4:30 pm Thane Maynard, executive director of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
Wednesday, Nov 4
10:00 am Brian Jaffee, director, Jewish Community Relations Council of Cincinnati
11:15 am Gerry Walter, Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Sholom
Individuals and groups are asked to sign up to read publicly for 15 minutes in the language of theirchoice and from the Bible of their choice.  Organizers hope to hear as many as thirty different languages.
Ingber is founding director of Xavier’s Office for Interfaith Community Engagement. The Office’s mission is to create and strengthen a sense of community among individuals of diverse faiths on campus, in Cincinnati and on regional and national levels.
“For more than 175 years Xavier has so brilliantly and lovingly discharged its mission to provide exceptional academics in a Jesuit environs,” said Ingber, “"It's a time to come together to celebrate the diversity in our community and also to do so in a way that reflects our shared values and ethics that are a part of our business lives, academic lives and lives at home," Ingber said.”