The ‘invisible book’ that influenced the West’s greatest literature

If you’re a high school student studying Shakespeare’s Macbeth, you’re unlikely to study how the Bible influenced Shakespeare’s understanding of good and evil. Or how the biblical story of Christ’s death and resurrection is found in so many of Shakespeare’s plays, Macbeth included (Duncan plays the role of Jesus – the rightful and fair king).

Bible Society Australia fears Australian children are in danger of becoming as Bible-illiterate as those in the UK, where 25 per cent of children aged eight to 15 think the Golden Goose is part of the Easter story.

To help turn the tide, it has been running a campaign called The Invisible Book – a user-generated video content series intended to get Australian youth to think again about how the Bible might be behind some of the texts they are learning at school.

Dr Greg Clarke, CEO of Bible Society Australia, says “If you don’t grow up with an education that includes the Bible, you are missing out on the very thing that has shaped so much of the culture you enjoy.”

The Invisible Book has started with six of Shakespeare’s most popular works – Macbeth, Othello, The Tempest, Julius Caesar, Richard III and Hamlet – producing fact sheets that examine just a little of how the Bible influenced the Bard as he wrote.

Bible Society is also encouraging Australian students to submit short videos in the Invisible Book competition, explaining one way the Bible has influenced their chosen play.

In a partnership with Christian Fellowship Tours, Bible Society Australia is offering a $32,000 overseas trip for the winning video, selected by a panel of judges.

There’s still time left to submit your video. Entries close on June 30.

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