Emory Report
January 26, 2009
Volume 61, Number 17



Emory Report homepage  

January 26
, 2009

Hopes for peace in prayer, music
“Peace is not the absence of fighting,” said Susan Henry-Crowe, dean of the chapel and religious life, at the start of “Prayers for Peace and the Peoples of the Middle East.”

True peace offers a place “where children play, where skies are blue, where the water is drinkable and people fall in love,” Henry-Crowe said, to introduce the half-hour of music, prayer and reflection.

The Inter-religious Council cosponsored the event, which featured the Emory Chamber Players and students, faculty and staff who sang prayers from different faiths. —Carol Clark

Director dishes about opera
“It’s a little bit like a giant pageant,” Richard Kagey, the Atlanta Opera’s stage director for “Akhnaten,” told the high school and college students gathered to see the dress rehearsal of Philip Glass’opera based on the pharaoh who ruled Egypt from 1375-1358 B.C.

“The most interesting part about the libretto, or the words to this piece, is that all of them were taken from this time period. There is nothing that is made up,” Kagey said. Emory professor Shalom Goldman helped research and write the libretto (see Emory Report, Jan. 20, 2009).

Adding to the allure of the opera is unusual castings of voice, including a countertenor in the title role. “We have an incredible cast,” Kagey said. —Kim Urquhart

Scholar digs up ancient beer facts
What do beer, the Bible and archeology have in common? An expert in ancient beer-making methods of the Near East answered this question during a recent lecture at the Carlos Museum, sponsored by the Program in Ancient Mediterranean Archaeology.

As early as the Neolithic revolution, when humans started settling down and planting crops, they learned how to ferment grains and make beer, said Michael Homan of Xavier University. The drink is referenced in Proverbs, and beer-making processes show up in the images decorating tombs in Egypt. Beer was easier to make than wine, and was more of a domestic activity, associated with bread making.

“Ancient beer was basically malted cereal water,” Homan said. “It didn’t use hops. It provided
a lot of calories, and it was safer to drink than water.” —Carol Clark