Genesis in Japan rises from a journal of reflections that were collected by the author while teaching the Bible to Japanese university students in Tokyo. It relates the diverse responses to the Bible that rebound, subtly but forcefully, back to the teacher from these students—extraordinary responses, in that they are simple, pure, ordinary, and entirely disorienting.
The theme of this talk will be drawn from the main theme of the book: that is, the author will give examples of how the Japanese penchant towards close reading makes appear that Western Christianity has an odd, even marginally insane relationship with the Bible.
Teaching and learning the Bible in Japan has led the author to another view of the Bible, one that stands in stark contrast with the Bible in the Bible-heavy culture that was the author’s beginning at a small American crossroads in central South Carolina.
Ron Rash, author of the critically acclaimed novel, Serena (recently released as a major motion picture), says of this book that "Dabbs uses his experiences in Japan to delve into the complexities of faith and doubt. He is a true pilgrim, a searcher for 'the signs that are not there and the signs that are.'"
Celebrated author, George Singleton, says of Genesis in Japan that "Dabbs offers a brilliant portrait of culture-curious Japanese students under the tutelage of a well-meaning, patient, and increasingly-baffled professor."
Dabbs is a professor of British literature at Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo where he has taught Shakespeare and the English Bible since 2003. Prior to this position Dabbs taught at Hiroshima University.
The talk will be in English.
The library committee is offering a cocktail party - "Meet the Author" - starting at 6:15 pm. Followed by dinner at 6:45pm (Menu : Grilled Salmon). Drinks can be ordered on a cash basis from the bar in the room. Book Break charges 2,000 yen (including tax) for the event. Non-members eligible to attend may pay in cash.
Sign up now at the reception desk (03-3211-3161) or on the FCCJ website. To help us plan proper seating and food preparation, please reserve in advance, preferably by noon of the day of the event. Those without reservations will be turned away once available seats are filled. Reservations cancelled less than 24 hours in advance will be charged in full.