Professor Amy-Jill Levine to deliver annual Cadbury Lectures

Leading historian Professor Amy-Jill Levine is to give this year’s Edward Cadbury Lectures at the University of Birmingham.

Professor Levine, University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies and E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of New Testament Studies at Vanderbilt University, US, will deliver a series of six lectures, beginning on Tuesday 25 November, on the theme of ‘Is the New Testament Anti-Jewish?’

The Edward Cadbury Lectures come from an endowment from the Cadbury family to the University of Birmingham for an annual series of lectures open to the public on the history, theology and culture of Christianity. The first Cadbury Lectures were delivered in 1948 by the historian Arnold Toynbee, who has been followed by a succession of eminent scholars from around the world. Themes in recent years have included ‘Parables for the City’ and ‘Seeing is Believing in Modern Christianity’.

Professor Levine’s lecture series, which runs until Wednesday 3 December, will begin with ‘The Christmas Story’ and will go on to include topics such as ‘The Sermon on the Mount’ and ‘Who Killed Jesus?’

Professor Levine said: ‘This series of lectures will provide a historically informed and theologically sensitive reading of those New Testament passages that some claim to be anti-Jewish; a recognition that both Judaism and Christianity formed their identities in dialogue and debate with each other; and a celebration of where Judaism and Christianity agree, as well as where they disagree.’

The series will explore the ways in which – despite progress in historical studies and interfaith relations – Jews and Christians continue to misunderstand both each other and the relationship of the New Testament to its Jewish context. By looking at major parts of the New Testament – the Christmas story, the Sermon on the Mount, the depiction of the Pharisees, the Passion narrative, the letters of Paul, and the Epistle to the Hebrews – the lectures will demonstrate how and why the followers of Jesus of Nazareth dialogued with, debated, and sometimes defamed their fellow Jews. It will also be shown that Jews and Christians have much to celebrate, both in terms of what they hold in common and in areas where they came to differ.

The full programme of lectures is available here. All events will take place from 5.30pm–7.00pm in Lecture Theatre 7, Arts Building, Main Edgbaston Campus.

The lectures are free and open to all, but registration in advance is recommended. To register, please email cadburylectures [a] (p) uk