Leading Jesus scholar to speak at Mepkin and USC

Dr. Marcus Borg, a leading Jesus scholar and author of the best-selling book, Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, will give several public addresses for the University of South Carolina’s fourth annual Nadine Beacham and Charlton F. Hall Sr. Lectureship in New Testament and Early Christianity April 2-3.

Borg, the Hundere Distinguished Professor of Religion and Culture in the Philosophy Department at Oregon State University, will give a free public lecture at 8 p.m. April 2 in the Russell House ballroom. Titled “The Death and Resurrection of Jesus,” Borg’s lecture will address, historically and theologically, the events marking the transition from the pre-Easter Jesus to the post-Easter Jesus. Specifically, Borg will discuss what most likely lies behind the New Testament accounts of Jesus’ death and resurrection and what meanings were ascribed to Good Friday and Easter in early Christian communities.

The New York Times has described Borg as “a leading figure among the new generation of Jesus scholars.” His books, Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time (1994) and the best-selling Jesus: A New Vision (1987), have generated national interest, leading to news segments about Borg on NBC’s “Today Show” and PBS’ “Lehrer Newshour.”

The lectureship, sponsored by USC’s Department of Religious Studies, is held each year the week before Palm Sunday. In addition to the public lecture, it includes an ecumenical clergy day, an in-depth discussion with pastors, priests and rabbis from around the state. Also featured is an address to Lowcountry clergy and residents at Mepkin Abbey. All events are free and are followed by a question-and-answer session.

This year’s ecumenical clergy day will be from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. April 2 at Columbia’s Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, located at the corner off Sumter and Gervais Streets. Borg’s lecture is titled “Images of Jesus and Images of the Christian Life.” USC religious studies professor Dr. Donald L. Jones will preside.

On Friday, Borg will travel to Mepkin Abbey in Moncks Corner. His 2 p.m. address in the Abbey Church is titled “Following Jesus: Spirit, Wisdom and Politics.”

Borg is a fellow of the Jesus Seminar and national chairman of the Historical Jesus Section of the Society of Biblical Literature. His nine books, translated into five languages, are hugely popular among the lay community. All of Borg’s books will be for sale at the Thursday and Friday events.

Raised in North Dakota, Borg earned degrees from Concordia College, Union Theological Seminary and Oxford University and has done post-doctoral study at the University of Tubingen. He has been a fellow with the Rockefeller Foundation, Danforth Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He has taught at Concordia College, South Dakota State University and Carleton College.

The Nadine Beacham and Charlton F. Hall Sr. Lectureship in New Testament and Early Christianity was established in 1994 to make the world’s leading New Testament and early Christianity scholars available to USC students, clergy and South Carolinians. Past lecturers have included Father Raymond E. Brown, the Rev. Dr. D. Moody Smith and the Rev. Dr. Leander E. Keck.

For more information about Borg’s visit, call Jones at (803) 777-2283.