Amy-Jill Levine is E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of New Testament Studies at Vanderbilt University Divinity School, where she also holds the position of Director of the Carpenter Program in Religion, Gender, and Sexuality. Her many books, articles, and essays address topics like Christian origins, Jewish-Christian relations, and women in the Bible. She has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Biblical Literature and the Catholic Biblical Quarterly and has held office in the Society of Biblical Literature, the Catholic Biblical Association, and the Association for Jewish Studies. A widely sought-after speaker and favorite at the Chautauqua Institute in upstate New York, she has given hundreds of talks on biblical topics to both academic and nonacademic audiences. She is also a fellow of CSER, the Committee for the Scientific Examination of Religion, one of the organizations at the Center for Inquiry. Her awards include grants from the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Council of Learned Societies. She has a book out in the next few months called The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus.
About this episode: Over 2 billion people worldwide live their lives to one extent or another focused around the man who is central to Christianity, Jesus of Nazareth. Even as skeptics of religion, most listeners to Point of Inquiry will agree that Jesus was one of the most important figures in history, affecting so much of the world we see today: the Christian Church is very influential in politics and society, and fundamental to Christianity is this figure of Jesus of Nazareth; millions of Americans live their lives regularly asking, “What would Jesus Do?”
In this interview with DJ Grothe, Amy-Jill Levine explores the question Who Was Jesus of Nazareth? She also touches on the role old Christianity in American politics and the possible relationship between religion and violence.
Also in this episode, Tom Flynn, editor of Free Inquiry asks Did You Know? about Christiantity in the ancient and modern world, and also discusses the Jesus-cross monument debacle on Mount Soledad in San Diego, California.