Wilson College: Lecture & Workshop on Jesus Parables

Orr Forum series

As part of its annual Orr Forum series, Wilson College welcomes Amy-Jill Levine, Ph.D., to give a lecture titled, “Jesus’ Parables as Jewish Stories,” March 24, 10.30 to 11.45 a.m., at the John Stewart Memorial Library on campus.

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Presenting new insight into ethics

The lecture will focus on how Jesus told parables to fellow Jews: recovering that original setting corrects their frequent anti-Jewish interpretations, provides a grounding for better Jewish-Christian relations, and offers new insight into both ancient and present-day ethics.

The lecture will be followed later at the same location by a workshop titled, “Understanding Jesus means Understanding Judaism,” 1.30 to 3.30 p.m. The workshop will detail the popular misconceptions about Jesus’ Jewish context found in sermons and church-based educational curricula, explain their origins, and offer new and helpful ways to read the New Testament. While this is open to the public, too, it is designed for clergy and religious educators. Anyone interested can reserve a spot by emailing orrforum@wilson.edu.

Levine is the Rabbi Stanley M. Kessler Distinguished Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies, Hartford International University for Religion and Peace, University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies Emerita, and Mary Jane Werthan Professor of Jewish Studies Emerita at Vanderbilt University. Levine describes herself as an unorthodox member of an Orthodox synagogue and a Yankee Jewish feminist who seeks to correct anti-Jewish, sexist, and other harmful interpretations of the Bible.


Lecture series

Since its inception in 1964, the Orr Forum lecture series has been Wilson College’s most widely-known and perhaps most prestigious academic event. Topics addressed have reflected the wide and shifting interests in religion studies in America. The series began with Edward Jurji, a professor of Islamic and comparative religion, Princeton Theological Seminary, speaking on convergence and prejudice. Succeeding years have been devoted to such topics as bioethics, race relations, the relationship of church and state, the nexus between religion and environmental issues, the AIDS crisis, and contemporary Islam.