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Amy-Jill Levine

Amy-Jill Levine

The Norman and Louis Miller Lecture in Public Understanding

Amy-Jill Levine
University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies
Vanderbilt University

"Seeing Through Different Lenses: How Jews and Christians Read Scripture"

Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012
7:30 p.m.
Walter Theatre, Abbot Pennings Hall of Fine Arts

Amy–Jill Levine is a University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University Divinity School. In 2011 she also became an Affiliated Professor at the Woolf Institute: Centre for the Study of Jewish-Christian Relations at Cambridge. Professor Levine received her B.A. from Smith College and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Duke University. Through her studies of and work on the interpretation of biblical texts, she has become established as one of today’s leading New Testament scholars.

Professor Levine’s work has earned her a number of distinctions and honors including honorary doctorates from multiple universities and grants from the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Council of Learned Societies. In addition, she has held positions of office in the Society of Biblical Literature, the Catholic Biblical Association, and the Association for Jewish Studies.

Much of Levine’s work focuses on interpreting popular biblical texts from alternative points of view. Her book Feminist Companions to the New Testament and Early Christian Writings contains fourteen volumes that offer a supplemental interpretation of New Testament writings based on feminist ideals and theories. In a similar light, her most recent publication, The Jewish Annotated New Testament, was co-edited with Marc Z. Brettler and is a unique volume that interprets the books of the New Testament from a Jewish perspective.

In an interview with PBS, Levine stated that “we all choose how to read religious texts…and what we can do is read graciously in the presence of our neighbor.” Her publications bring to light different interpretations of the New Testament, especially from within the Jewish tradition, recognizing that too few people have actually read these texts, let alone explored the ways in which Christians and Jews over the centuries have understood them.

David Scholar (Professor of New Testament, Fuller Theological Seminary) describes Levine’s book, The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus as “a true gem” and expresses a wish that all theological writings and dialogue were “as careful and kind as Levine.”

Professor Levine describes herself as a "Yankee Jewish feminist who teaches in a predominantly Christian divinity school in the buckle of the Bible Belt." She advocates for the elimination anti-Jewish, sexist, or homophobic theologies by combining historical-critical rigor, literary-critical sensitivity, and a frequent dash of humor.

This event is free and open to the public. No registration is required. For more information, call Catherine Kasten at 920-403-3919.

Norman Miller Center for Peace, Justice & Public Understanding

Phone: (920) 403-3881
Fax: (920) 403-4088

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