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Author and Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University Divinity School to Speak at Bristol Public Library Feb. 18 and King University Feb. 19

BRISTOL, Tenn., Feb. 8, 2016 – Amy-Jill Levine, noted author and University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University Divinity School and College of Arts and Sciences, will give two lectures as part of the King University Institute for Faith and Culture’s 2015-16 Lecture Series. Levine will speak on “Jesus the Jewish Storyteller: Hearing the Parables Anew – Of Peals and Prodigals” at the Bristol Public Library at 7 p.m. on Thursday Feb. 18. Then the next day on Friday Feb. 19 at 9:15 a.m., she will lecture on “Jesus the Jewish Storyteller: Hearing the Parables Anew – Of Priests, Levites, and Samaritans” in King’s Memorial Chapel on the main campus in Bristol, Tenn. The events are co-sponsored by the Bristol Herald Courier.

“The King Institute for Faith and Culture is delighted to welcome Amy-Jill Levine to King and the Tri-Cities community,” says Shannon Harris, interim director. “Professor Levine is one of the most important scholars working on the New Testament today, a highly regarded and desired speaker, and respected throughout the country.”

Harris continues, “Professor Levine says, ‘The study of the Bible is a simply marvelous endeavor, and each time it’s approached, students will see new things. I’m continuing to see new things.’ Someone who can approach the Bible afresh, with keen insight and a depth of understanding will enrich believers and doubters, and I hope people will come and partake in the opportunity.

“Amy-Jill Levine points out that if we misunderstand Jesus’ Jewish context, we will misunderstand Jesus,” adds Harris. “If we take Jesus out of his Jewish context, not only will we misunderstand him, we are likely to promote false, negative views of Judaism. At a time when interfaith dialogue has reached a new level of importance for future peace and security, a scholar and author like Amy-Jill Levine can help show us the way.”

Professor Levine's numerous books, articles, and essays address such topics as Second-Temple Judaism, Christian origins, Jewish-Christian relations, and biblical women.  She has authored numerous articles, essays, and books, including her most recent “Short Stories by Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi.” Other works by Levine include: “The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus,” the edited collection, “Jewish Annotated New Testamentand,” “The Historical Jesus in Context,” and the thirteen-volume edited series, “Feminist Companions to the New Testament and Early Christian Writings.” She also recorded “Introduction to the Old Testament,” “Great Figures of the Old Testament,” and “Great Figures of the New Testament” for the Teaching Company as part of the “Great Courses” series. In addition, Levine is also holds an honorary doctorate from Franklin College.

Holding the B.A. from Smith College, the M.A. and Ph.D. from Duke University, and honorary doctorates from Christian Theological Seminary, Drury University, the University of Richmond, the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest, and the University of South Carolina-Upstate, Professor 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. In 2011, Levine became affiliated professor at the Woolf Institute: Centre for the Study of Jewish-Christian Relations at Cambridge, UK.

Both events are open to the public and free of charge. Visit http://faithandculture.king.edu or contact Dr. Shannon Harris, interim director of the King University Institute for Faith and Culture at svharris@king.edu, 423-652-4836, or 423-747-3524 for additional information.

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