Last night United Theological Seminary and the Ryterband Symposium benefited mightily from two lectures by Amy-Jill Levine. This will come as no surprise to anyone who has heard her in a public setting: she is as good as advertised and better!
Dr. Levine's second lecture was a retelling of a handful of Jesus' parables. It is safe to say that those who attended will never hear those stories again in the same way. Not every person in attendance was comfortable with her readings (as any good dialogue should expose and navigate). But all, I think, left with a greater appreciation of Jewish-Christian difference and a greater sense of complexity for the New Testament as a sacred text.
She is a master at explaining Jews and Judaism to Christians and explaining Christians and Christianity to Jews. In both cases, she always conveys sensitivity and (when required) advocacy for the wellbeing of both groups.
Happily, I'm welcoming Dr. Levine to my church here in Dayton for a clergy/educators workshop today.
If you will be in Atlanta in November, you might consider this panel review of her new book:
Jewish-Christian Dialogue and Sacred TextsYou will not be disappointed. I promise.
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: Grand Ballroom B (Level 2) - Hilton
Theme: A Review of Amy-Jill Levine's Short Stories by Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi
Adele Reinhartz, Université d'Ottawa - University of Ottawa, Presiding
Adele Reinhartz, Université d'Ottawa - University of Ottawa, Introduction (5 min)
Adam Gregerman, Saint Joseph's University, Panelist (25 min)
Luke Timothy Johnson, Emory University, Panelist (25 min)
Annette Merz, Protestant Theological University Amsterdam, Panelist (25 min)
David Sandmel, Anti-Defamation League, Panelist (25 min)
Amy-Jill Levine, Vanderbilt University, Respondent (25 min)
Discussion (20 min)