Leading scholar and author Amy-Jill Levine to speak at Fairfield University


"...a leading New Testament scholar." - The New York Times

Image: A J LevineAlthough Jews and Christians share common books - the Jewish Tanakh and the Christian Old Testament - they read their shared stories in different ways, according to author Amy-Jill Levine, Ph.D.

On Thursday, April 10 at 7:30 p.m., Dr. Levine will speak about this intriguing topic when she delivers Fairfield University's Eighth Annual Lecture in Jewish-Christian Engagement. The event - free and open to the public - will take place in the Dolan School of Business Dining Room. It is co-sponsored by Fairfield University's Carl and Dorothy Bennett Center for Judaic Studies and the Center for Catholic Studies.

Dr. Levine is University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of New Testament Studies, and Professor of Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University Divinity School and College of Arts and Sciences. She will give a lecture entitled, "Agreeing to Disagree: How Jews and Christians Read Scripture."

Professor Levine will explore how differences in translation, punctuation, definitions, theology, emphasis and even canonical order all lead to differences in self-definition. "What prompts these differences, and what do they suggest about Jewish and Christian identities?" she said. "Among the items to be discussed: messianic expectations and the 'virgin birth;' the identity of Isaiah's 'suffering servant;' the Garden of Eden ('original sin' or 'human nature'); varying views of the land of Israel (a point that leads to different views of Israel/Palestine today); the depiction of sexuality; and the role of Law."

On Vanderbilt's website, Dr. Levine describes herself as a "Yankee Jewish feminist who teaches in a predominantly Christian divinity school in the buckle of the Bible Belt." Dr. Levine, who also holds the title of University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies, is a scholar who combines historical-critical rigor, literary-critical sensitivity, and a frequent dash of humor with a commitment to eliminating anti-Jewish, sexist, and homophobic theologies.

Her books include "The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus" (HarperOne); the edited collection, "The Historical Jesus in Context" (Princeton); and the fourteen-volume edited series, "Feminist Companions to the New Testament and Early Christian Writings" (Continuum). With Marc Brettler of Brandeis University, she edited the "Jewish Annotated New Testament" (Oxford). Dr. Levine has held office in the Society of Biblical Literature, the Catholic Biblical Association, and the Association for Jewish Studies. She earned a B.A. from Smith College, as well as an M.A. and Ph.D. from Duke University.

A Jew, she became fascinated with Catholicism early on in her life. "I found it inspiring and a tad mysterious," she told Moment Magazine. "I was very attracted to some of the rituals. I always knew they weren't mine, but I thought they were beautiful anyway."

Seating is limited. For reservations, call (203) 254-4000, ext. 2066. For more information about Fairfield University, visit www.fairfield.edu.

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on March 18, 2014

Vol. 46, No. 228