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Internationally Renowned New Testament Scholar Visits Brevard

jill-levineSelf-described “Yankee Jewish Feminist” Amy-Jill Levine will spend some time in Brevard Sept. 15-18 leading a series of lectures and discussions on topics such as Jesus’s parables as Jewish stories and Politics, sex and religion in the biblical tale of David and Bathsheba.

The Brevard Jewish Community, Koinonia, an ecumenical group fostering dialogue among people of various faith traditions, and Brevard College are sponsors of Professor Levine’s visit. Many of the weekend’s events are free and open to the public:

Schedule of Events
Thursday, Sept. 15
• 7 p.m. Of Pearls and Prodigals: Hearing Jesus’s Parables as Jewish Stories; First United Methodist Church (325 N. Broad St.)
Friday, Sept. 16
• 10 a.m. Misunderstanding Judaism Means Misunderstanding Jesus: Where Preaching and Teaching Go Wrong; Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd (22 Fisher Rd.)
• 8 p.m. How Jews and Christians Read Scripture Differently; Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd (22 Fisher Rd.)
Saturday, Sept. 17
• 11 a.m. A Conversation with Dr. Levine followed by Old Testament/Torah Study of Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19; Sacred Heart Catholic Church (150 Brian Berg Dr.)
• 4 p.m. David and Bathsheba: Politics, Sex, and Religion; The Porter Center for Performing Arts (1 Brevard College Dr.)
Sunday, Sept. 18
• 10:10 a.m. Jesus in His Jewish Context; St. Philip’s Episcopal Church (256 E. Main St.)

Dr. Levine, a leading figure in Jewish-Christian relations, 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 Divinity School and College of Arts and Science. She holds a bachelor of arts degree from Smith College, master of arts and Ph.D. degrees from Duke University, and honorary doctorates from Christian Theological Seminary, Drury University, Franklin College, the University of Richmond, the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest, and the University of South Carolina-Upstate.

Her books include The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus and, most recently, Short Stories by Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi.

Levine said she is excited for her return visit to Western North Carolina.

“This will be my first time giving talks in Brevard, and I am looking forward to being with old friends and making new ones,” she said.In her lectures and books, Levine seeks to combat stereotypes by educating Christians and Jews on early Judaism and offering new ways of interpreting the New Testament.

Vanderbilt’s website characterizes Levine’s teaching as “historical-critical rigor, literary-critical sensitivity, and a frequent dash of humor with a commitment to eliminating anti-Jewish, sexist, and homophobic theologies.”

“Being able to bring Amy-Jill Levine to Brevard for this series of talks is a gift to Transylvania and surrounding counties,” said Ken Wallston, a member of the Brevard Jewish Community. “We hope to have large audiences for her events, all of which are free and of interest to people of all faiths.”

The Brevard Jewish Community is celebrating 15 years of meeting the spiritual and social needs of Jews in Brevard and surrounding towns. Learn more at thebrevardjewishcommunity.org.

Koinonia is an ecumenical effort embracing differing faiths in Transylvania County, North Carolina. While acknowledging the richness and diversity of various worship traditions, Koinonia seeks to build interfaith understanding and to hear and answer the call to be one in God.

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