About This Quilt Piece

Diversity is nothing new. Over the millennia many societies have had to address diversity related issues arising from multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-racial groups living side-by-side. Too often, these issues were addressed simply and despotically with the dominant group blind to the conflicts on their doorstep. At times a common denominator existed helping to bond individuals into community. These might be such things as a common ideology, religion, political ideal, or language. This quilt square is written in Koine Greek, the lingua franca of the very diverse eastern Roman Empire circa first century A.D.

Koine Greek is also the language of the New Testament. Specifically, this square quotes the Gospel of Mark, verse 12:31a. There is agreement among most scholars that this text was authored around or near the year seventy, about the time of the destruction of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem at the hands of their Roman overlords. The text quotes an itinerant preacher of the region who lived some years prior. If one pauses to reflect, perhaps this text teaches us all one needs to know about respecting, working, learning and living together with others not quite the same as oneself. You decide.

Jack Davidsen, Library Specialist, Acquisitions
February, 2011