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Bard's Institute of Advanced Theology Offers Two Programs in February

2008 Lenten Luncheon Lecture Series, “Prophecy, Social Justice, and the Vision of God,” by Bruce Chilton; Discussion between Professors Chilton and Jacob Neusner

Emily Darrow


ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Institute of Advanced Theology (IAT) at Bard College presents two programs this February. On Tuesday, February 12, Bard professors Bruce Chilton and Jacob Neusner discuss their recent research in an informal discussion, followed by a book signing. Chilton is editor of the recently released Cambridge Companion to the Bible (Cambridge University Press, 2007), and Neusner is editor of the Encyclopedia of Religious and Philosophical Writings in Late Antiquity (Brill, 2007). Free and open to the public, the discussion begins at 3:30 p.m. in the Weis Cinema of the Bertelsmann Campus Center and is followed by a tea and the book signing.


Beginning Wednesday, February 13, and continuing through Wednesday, March 12, the 2008 Lenten Lecture Series features Chilton speaking on “Prophecy, Social Justice, and the Vision of God.” The weekly luncheon/lectures meet in the multipurpose room of the Bertelsmann Campus Center at 12:00 noon. The cost for each lecture (including lunch) is $14, or $12 for members of the Institute of Advanced Theology. As space is limited, preregistration is requested. Attendance at the lecture only (at 12:30 p.m.) is free.


Bruce Chilton (Ph.D. from Cambridge, 1976) is a scholar of early Christianity and Judaism. He wrote the first critical commentary on the Aramaic version of Isaiah (The Isaiah Targum, 1987), as well as academic studies that analyze Jesus in his Judaic context (A Galilean Rabbi and His Bible, 1984; The Temple of Jesus, 1992; Pure Kingdom, 1996). He has taught in Europe at the Universities of Cambridge, Sheffield, and Münster, and in the United States at Yale University (as the first Lillian Claus Professor of New Testament) and Bard College. Currently Bernard Iddings Bell Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Bard, he also directs the College’s Institute of Advanced Theology. Throughout his career, he has been active in the pastoral ministry of the Anglican Church, and is rector of the Church of St. John the Evangelist in Barrytown, New York. Abraham’s Curse: The Roots of Violence in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, his most recent book, is released this month; his other books include Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography (2000), Redeeming Time: The Wisdom of Ancient Jewish and Christian Festal Calendars (2002), Rabbi Paul: An Intellectual Biography (2004), Mary Magdalene: A Biography (2005), and, as general editor, The Cambridge Companion to the Bible (2007).


Jacob Neusner, senior fellow of Bard’s Institute of Advanced Theology, Bard Center Fellow, and Distinguished Service Professor of the History and Theology of Judaism at Bard, received a Ph.D. in religion from Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary and a rabbinical degree from the Jewish Theological Seminary. He also holds seven honorary doctorates and numerous other academic honors. He has published more than 975 books and articles. He has taught at Dartmouth College, Brown University, and the University of South Florida, among other institutions. He is a member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey, and life member of Clare Hall, Cambridge University, in England. Neusner was president of the American Academy of Religion, a member of the founding committee of the Association for Jewish Studies, and founder of the European Association of Jewish Studies. He served on the National Council on the Humanities under President Carter and National Council on the Arts under President Reagan. He has taught at Bard College since 1994.


In addition to these events, the Institute presents a three-day conference, “The Golden Rule in the Religions of the World,” from Tuesday, April 15, through Thursday, April 17, in the Weis Cinema of the Bertelsmann Campus Center. Organized by Professors Chilton and Neusner, participants include Robert Berchman, Dowling College; Chris Boehm, University of Southern California; Mark A. Csikszentmihalyi, University of Wisconsin–Madison; Harry Gensler, John Carroll University; William Scott Green, University of Miami; Charles Hallisey, University of Wisconsin; Th. Emil Homerin, University of Rochester; Baruch A. Levine, New York University; Mahnaz Moazami, Columbia University; Olivier du Roy, Paris; Jeffrey Wattles, Kent State University; David Sloan Wilson, Binghamton University; and Bard professors Daniel Berthold, Richard Davis, Carolyn Dewald, and Kristin Scheible. The conference is presented with a grant from the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love. All presentations are free and open to the public; however, preregistration is requested. Tuesday, 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Wednesday, 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.


The Institute of Advanced Theology was established to foster the kind of critical understanding, based on scholarship, that would make true religious pluralism possible. Since its inception in 1996, the Institute’s work has focused on how religions influence history, society, and other religions, and are in turn influenced by them. The Institute gratefully acknowledges support from members of the Institute, the Crohn Family Trust, and Tisch Family Foundation, as well as grants from The Levy Economics Institute and Bard College.


For further information or to register for the Lenten Luncheon Lecture series, call the Institute office at 845-758-7279, e-mail, or visit the website


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To download high-resolution (300 dpi) press photos, click on thumbnail images below.

Bruce Chilton
Jacob Neusner

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This event was last updated on 03-02-2008