Jonathan Homrighausen, "Planting Letters and Weaving Lines: The Song of Songs, and The Saint Johns Bible" (Liturgical Press, 2022)


The illuminations of The Saint John’s Bible have delighted many with their imaginative takes on Scripture. But many struggle to appreciate the calligraphy more deeply than merely noting its beauty. Does calligraphy mean something? How is it beautiful?

Planting Letters and Weaving Lines: The Song of Songs, and The Saint Johns Bible (Liturgical Press, 2022), written by a biblical scholar who has spent years working with this Bible, shows how calligraphic art powerfully interplays visual form, textual content, and creative process. Homrighausen proposes five lenses for this artform: gardens, weaving, pilgrimage, touching, and enfleshing words. Each of these lenses springs from the poetry of the Song of Songs, its illuminations in The Saint John’s Bible, and medieval ways of understanding the scribe’s craft. While these metaphors for calligraphic art draw from this particular illuminated Bible, this book is aimed at all lovers of calligraphy, art, and sacred text.

Jonathan Homrighausen, a doctoral candidate in Hebrew Bible at Duke University, teaches in Judaic Studies at the College of William & Mary. His research explores the intersection of Hebrew Bible, calligraphic art, and scribal craft. He is the author of Illuminating Justice: The Ethical Imagination of The Saint John's Bible (Liturgical Press, 2018) and articles in Religion and the Arts, Image, Teaching Theology and Religion, Transpositions, and Visual Commentary on Scripture.

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