Posted by: mollyrossiter | March 18, 2009

Levine to speak on Jesus and Judaism at Coe

A professor, author and expert on the relationship between Jesus and Judaism, Amy-Jill Levine, will speak at two upcoming presentations at Coe College.  The events are free and open to the public.


A self-described “Yankee Jewish feminist who teaches in a predominantly Protestant divinity school in the buckle of the Bible Belt,”  Levine combines historical-critical rigor, literary-critical sensitivity, and a frequent dash of humor with a commitment to eliminating anti-Jewish, sexist and homophobic theologies.


Levine will speak on “Misunderstanding Judaism/Misunderstanding Jesus” on Thursday, April 2 at 7:30 p.m. in Kesler Lecture Hall of Hickok Hall.   While Jesus followed the Torah of Moses and found inspiration in the prophets of Israel, he is often seen as rejecting Judaism.  During this discussion, Levine will describe Jesus in a Jewish context, bringing new meaning to his parables, his politics, and his piety, and corrects anti-Jewish stereotypes.  According to Levine, the result is good news for Jews and Christians alike.


“Hearing the Parables in their Jewish Contexts” will be the topic of Levine’s presentation on Friday, April 3, at 3 p.m. in Kesler Lecture Hall of Hickok Hall.  Levine will explain how Jesus’ parables make sense in a Jewish context, and discusses how Christian readers, unfamiliar with that context, have misread both Judaism and Jesus.


Levine’s most recent publications include “The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus;” the edited collection, “The Historical Jesus in Context;” and the 14-volume series, “Feminist Companions to the New Testament and Early Christian Writings.”  She has recorded “Introduction to the Old Testament,” “Great Figures of the Old Testament” and “Great Figures of the New Testament” for the Teaching Company’s “great lectures” series.


Levine is E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of New Testament Studies at Vanderbilt University Divinity School, Department of Religious Studies, and Graduate Department of Religion. Holding a bachelor’s degree from Smith College and a master’s degree and Ph.D. from Duke University, Levine has been awarded grants from the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Council of Learned Societies.  She has held office in the Society of Biblical Literature, the Catholic Biblical Association and the Association for Jewish Studies.


For more information, call 399-8581.


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