Oxford Scholar to Speak on the Relevancy of Oral Learning

Sept. 30, 2014
Stanley P. RosenburgStanley P. Rosenburg courtesy photo.

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Contact: Terry Goodrich, (254) 710-3321

WACO, Texas (Sept. 30, 2014) – The Baylor University Department of Classics presents Stanley P. Rosenburg, Ph.D., on the topic of “Besides books: the Bible, Augustine’s preaching, pedagogy, and oral culture in Late Antiquity.” Rosenburg will present his lecture from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on Wed., Oct. 1, in the Mayborn Museum Complex’s Community Room, 1300 S University Parks Drive in Waco.

The focus of the lecture will be comparing the means by which people learn.

“We have been driven by the written and the printed word -- books, text books, reading assignments in journals, handbooks that preserve information,” said Daniel Nodes, Ph.D., chair of the department of classics in the College of Arts & Sciences. “Rosenberg poses the question of the effects of learning by oral and aural traditions, asking ‘What difference would that make in the way we learn?’”

Before the invention of the printing press and broad literacy, information was mainly communicated and orally and received by ear. Rosenberg recognizes that knowledge is often conditioned by the medium by which it is delivered, addressing the fact that written and oral mediums of learning differ greatly.

“The medium changes the way people receive information. Practicing a reading culture in the world of music would be like going to a music hall and reading the sheets, quietly to yourself. It’s a completely different experience,” Nodes said.

Rosenberg is an American-trained theologian, currently on the faculty of theology and religion at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. His areas of research include Late Antiquity and Latin patristics, Augustine, exegesis, preaching, Christianization, Late Antique culture, early Christian cosmology, religious, aesthetics, Neo-Platonism and popular beliefs.

For more information, please contact Daniel Nodes: Daniel_Nodes@baylor.edu

by Sarah Czerwinski, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805


Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.


The College of Arts & Sciences is Baylor University’s oldest and largest academic division, consisting of 24 academic departments and 13 academic centers and institutes. The more than 5,000 courses taught in the College span topics from art and theatre to religion, philosophy, sociology and the natural sciences. Faculty conduct research around the world, and research on the undergraduate and graduate level is prevalent throughout all disciplines. Visit www.baylor.edu/artsandsciences.


Located on the Baylor University campus, the Mayborn Museum Complex features a natural science and cultural history museum focusing on Central Texas with walk-in dioramas, including one on the Waco Mammoth Site, and exploration stations for geology, paleontology, archaeology, and natural history. In addition, 17 themed discovery rooms encourage hands-on learning for all ages.

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