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Psalm 46: Singing in Hope and Defiance

15 August 2022, 6-7pm BST

Lecture by Prof. Henrike Lähnemann for the International Interfaith Reading Group ‘Psalms in Interfaith Contexts’, part of the Oxford Interfaith Forum. The meeting started after the introduction by the Rabbi Benjamin Spratt, Senior Rabbi of Rodeph Sholom, NY, USA, with a reading of the Hebrew text (text in the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia; text in the interlinear Hebrew-English and a singing of the setting of Psalm 46 in the Book of Common Prayer version (Anglican four-part chant setting with tune adapted from Martin Luther cf. by a Consort of Singers from Oxford and Braunschweig. Recording in the library at the Freiburg Institute of Advanced Studies (FRIAS) with live audience singing Martin Luther’s Psalm 46-inspired hymn ‘Ein feste Burg’ (version of 1529, cf.

The lecture (lecture slides below) explored Psalm 46 (‘God is our refuge and strength’) in the context of Reformation Psalm singing with a focus on Martin Luther’s hymn paraphrase ‘Ein feste Burg’ and its translations into English by Myles Coverdale in his ‘Goostly psalmes’, and the ambiguous reception history in Germany of what Heinrich Heine called the “Marseillaise of the Reformation”.

Check out the edition of the ‘Goostly Psalmes‘ from the only surviving copy in The Queen’s College Library as part of the Taylor Edition, here Coverdale’s translation of Luther’s Psalm paraphrase.

Link to the documentation on the Psalms Interfaith Reading Group:

Poster for the discussion of Psalm 46 led by Henrike Lähnemann

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