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INSTITUTE OF ADVANCED THEOLOGY AT BARD COLLEGE OFFERS A LECTURE-DIALOGUE SERIES IN SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER The Rev. Dr. Bruce Chilton and Professor Jacob Neusner lead discussions about "The Politics of Faith," "Ethics and Sanctification," and "Ethics and S

Emily Darrow

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.-The Institute of Advanced Theology at Bard College will hold a series of public lecture-dialogues on three topics: "The Politics of Faith" on Thursday, October 4; "Ethics and Sanctification" on Thursday, October 25; and "Ethics and Salvation" date to be announced. The lecture-dialogues, presented by the Reverend Dr. Bruce Chilton and Research Professor of Theology and Judaism Jacob Neusner, are free and open to the public and begin at 6:00 p.m. in Room 115 of the Olin Language Center on the Bard College campus.

How did the origin of Judaism and the origin of Christianity relate to one another? A popular conception imagines them as running along parallel lines that can be compared directly. Professors Neusner and Chilton challenge that picture. They argue that the histories of Judaism and Christianity do not run parallel, but intersect. Paradoxically, however, when they do intersect, they profoundly disagree.

This may seem surprising, because both religions took shape during the first four centuries of the Common Era under conditions of subordination within the Roman Empire. Both drew on the inheritance of ancient Israel. But beyond that, their formative histories are not directly comparable. One started where the other ended. One moved out of politics as the other moved in. One abandoned history as a way of organizing experience, while the other felt compelled to pioneer a new conception of history in order to explain the present age. This series of lectures is designed to investigate that complex and often fraught relationship within its historical setting.

Professor Bruce Chilton is a scholar of early Christianity and Judaism and the author of the first critical translation of the Aramaic version of Isaiah (The Isaiah Targum, 1987). Chilton has written academic studies that put Jesus in his Jewish context (Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography, 2000; The Galilean Rabbi and His Bible, 1984; The Temple of Jesus, 1992; and Pure Kingdom, 1996). He has taught in Europe at the Universities of Cambridge, Sheffield, and M√ľnster, and in the United States at Yale University (as the first Lillian Claus Professor for New Testament) and Bard College. Throughout his career he has been active in the pastoral ministry of the Anglican Church; he is presently rector of the Church of St. John the Evangelist in Barrytown, New York.

Dr. Jacob Neusner is Research Professor of Theology and Judaism and senior fellow of the Institute of Advanced Theology at Bard College. He received his Ph.D. in religion from Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary and his rabbinical degree at the Jewish Theological Seminary. In addition, he holds seven honorary doctorates and numerous academic medals and honors. He has published more than 800 books and countless articles. Neusner has taught at Bard since 1994, prior to accepting this full-time appointment. He has also taught at Dartmouth College, Brown University, and the University of South Florida, among others. He is a member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey, and a 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 as a member of the National Council on the Humanities under President Carter and a member of the National Council on the Arts under President Reagan. The position Neusner holds as Research Professor of Religion and Theology at Bard College is supported, in part, by a grant from the Tisch Family Foundation of New York City.

The Institute of Advanced Theology at Bard College was established to foster critical understanding based on scholarship that will 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 provided by the Crohn Family Trust and the Tisch Family Foundation and grants from The Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the American Council of Learned Societies, and Bard College.

For further information about the lecture series or the Institute of Advanced Theology at Bard College, call 845-758-7279, e-mail, or visit the website

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This event was last updated on 09-13-2001