University News

The Historical Jesus Topic of February 28 Woods Lecture at WIU

February 11, 2002

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MACOMB, IL - - John Dominic Crossan, a professor, ordained priest and author of several national religious bestsellers, will present "The Historical Jesus" at the Thursday, Feb. 28 Mary Olive Woods Lecture at Western Illinois University.

The 15th annual Woods Lecture, sponsored by the WIU department of philosophy and religious studies and open free to the public, will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Union Heritage Room.

The lecture, originally scheduled for Sept. 13, 2001, was postponed because of the events of Sept. 11.

Crossan also will lead a discussion session, which is open to all interested, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Friday, March 1 in Stipes Hall 501.

Born in Ireland, Crossan is an emeritus professor of religious studies at DePaul University since 1995. He joined the DePaul faculty in 1969 after 13-years as an ordained priest in the Roman Catholic religious order, the Servites. He was also co-chair (1985-1996) of the Jesus Seminar, a twice yearly scholarly meeting to debate the historicity of the life of Jesus in the gospels.

Among his 18 books of the historical Jesus and earliest Christianity are three bestsellers which he wrote in the 1990s: "Jesus: a Revolutionary Biography" (1994); "Who Killed Jesus: Exposing the Roots of Anti-Semitism in the Gospel Story of the Death of Jesus" (1995); and "The Birth of Christianity" (1998). He has received awards for scholarly excellence from the American Academy of Religion (1989) and DePaul University (1991 and 1995). Crossan also has been interviewed on hundreds of radio shows and television programs including the PBS documentary "From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians" and A&E's "Mysteries of the Bible."

Crossan earned a doctorate of divinity (1959) from Maynooth College, Ireland, and completed post-doctoral research at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome (1959-1961) and at the Ecole Biblique in Jerusalem (1965-1967).

This lecture is made possible through the 1987 trust fund of Mary Olive Woods, administered through the WIU Foundation. The Woods fund provides up to eight student scholarships each year in addition to the annual lecture presentation.

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