Tue January 12, 2010
"The Sisters of Sinai: How Two Lady Adventurers Discovered the Hidden Gospels." (Encore presentation.)
By Rich Fisher
Tulsa, Oklahoma – (Note: This program first aired in October of 2009.) On this edition of our show, we discuss a recently published book that offers narrative non-fiction at its fascinating best. Our guest is Professor Janet Soskice, whose new volume (available from Knopf) is "The Sisters of Sinai: How Two Lady Adventurers Discovered the Hidden Gospels." A real-life account that might well call to mind the world of Indiana Jones, this work tells how, in the nineteenth century, and much to the astonishment of the academic world, two audacious Scottish Victorian ladies --- twin sisters, in fact --- discovered an early New Testament manuscript on Mount Sinai. As one critic has noted of Soskice and her book in The New York Times: "Herself a professor of philosophical theology at Cambridge, Soskice deftly positions the twins' story in the wider and more profound context of ideas and discoveries of their age. With great clarity, she steadily and captivatingly unwinds the complicated threads of her narrative, explicating formidable scholarship while keeping the twins at the fore.... For its evocation of the character, as well as the characters, of the era, 'Sisters of Sinai' is a bracing and moving book, not only a story of adventure, but also a reminder of the ardor, hardship, and energy invested in the pursuit of knowledge in that endlessly inquiring and industrious Victorian age."