Events

Carmichael-Walling Lectures 2019

You are invited to join us for the annual Carmichael-Walling Lectures at Abilene Christian University on Thursday, November 14.

Dr. Amy-Jill Levine of Vanderbilt University will give the Lectures on the theme: A Fresh Look at Jesus the Storyteller.

4:00 p.m. – Understanding Jesus Means Understanding Judaism: a Workshop

7:15 p.m. – Hearing the Parables through Jewish Ears: Sheep, Coins, Prodigals, and Samaritans

Jesus and his first followers were Jews, thoroughly grounded in Jewish Scripture, Jewish ethics and theology, and Jewish hopes. To understand the New Testament is thus to recover Jewish history. Yet ignorance of this history sometimes leads to New Testament readings that create or reinforce anti-Jewish views. How might understanding the New Testament in its historical context provide a better understanding of Jesus and Paul, correct misinformed teaching and preaching, and offer a productive approach to Jewish-Christian relations?

Lectures are free, open to the public and will take place in the Onstead-Packer Biblical Studies Building in Room 114 on ACU’s campus in Abilene, Texas. For more information, contact csart@acu.edu.

For a larger campus map, click here.

We hope you will join us for this insightful evening!


Amy-Jill Levine is University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies and Mary Jane Werthan Professor of Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt Divinity School and College of Arts and Science; she is also Affiliated Professor, Woolf Institute, Centre for the Study of Jewish-Christian Relations, Cambridge UK. Her books include The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus;The New Testament, Methods and Meanings (with Warren Carter), and Short Stories by Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi. With Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, she co-authored three children’s books on Jesus’ parables. With Marc Z. Brettler, she co-edited the Jewish Annotated New Testament. Her most recent book is a commentary on The Gospel of Luke, co-authored with Ben Witherington. Holding the B.A. from Smith College, the M.A. and Ph.D. from Duke University, and five honorary doctorates, she is the first Jew to teach a New Testament course at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome.

Ethics in Contexts

Join us for a special presentation, discussion, and reception hosted by ACU’s Center for the Study of Ancient Religious Texts (CSART), at Abilene Christian University on Tuesday, September 17 at 8:15 p.m. in the Chapel on the Hill, on the ACU campus.

We are honored to showcase the book recently published to celebrate the distinguished career of CSART Fellow, Dr. Wendell WIllis, long-time Bible teacher in ACU’s College of Biblical Studies: Ethics in Contexts: Essays in Honor of Wendell Lee Willis (Wipf & Stock 2019).

Jacob Lollar, one of Dr. Willis’ former students, will be our host. Book editors and contributors James W. Thompson and Richard W. Wright will tell us about Wendell’s career and explain the vital topic of New Testament Ethics, after which Dr. Willis will have an opportunity to respond.

A reception will follow, in the Rotunda adjoining the Chapel.

This event is free, open to the public, and will take place in the Chapel on the Hill in the Onstead-Packer Biblical Studies Building on ACU’s campus. For more information, contact csart@acu.edu.

We hope you will join us for this celebration!

 

         

For a larger campus map, click here.

The Psalms in the Church's Worship

CSART lecture series during the Summit conference. Sept. 17, 2019. Abilene Christian University Campus, College of Biblical Studies, room 114.

Join us for a series of reflections on the Psalms by a panel of specialists on interpreting and performing the Psalms. The sessions are open to the public and free of charge.

The book of Psalms has provided rich resources for Jewish and Christian worship and ethical reflection for centuries. It still does. The speakers on this panel draw on years of work as scholars and artists to explore the book’s many dimensions as a source for study, prayer, song, and art. As the church’s first song book, Psalms provides language and images for lament and praise, storytelling and the pursuit of wisdom. In short, it helps us be more fully human in our lives before God.

September 17, 2019

8:30 – 9:15am   Nancy L. deClaissé-Walford – Bringing in the Sheaves with Shouts of Joy: Embodied Worship in the Songs of Ascents

The Psalms are a rich source of information about the worship experiences of our ancestors in the faith. By studying the bodily movements of worshippers in the Songs of Ascents, we can learn more about bringing our whole selves to the worship experience. Nancy L. deClaissé-Walford is the Carolyn Ward Professor of Old Testament and Biblical Languages at the McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University in Atlanta, Georgia.

9:30 – 10:15am   R. Mark Shipp – Singing the Lord’s Song: Psalm-Singing through the Ages

This session will contain an overview of Psalm-singing through the ages (with audience participation!), and an introduction to Timeless: Ancient Psalms for the Church Today Psalter/Commentary, edited by Mark Shipp himself. R. Mark Shipp is the Pat E. Harrell Professor of Old Testament at Austin Graduate School of Theology, Austin, Texas.

1:30 – 2:15pm   Jason Byassee – Christ Prays the Psalms, They Pray Him Back: In Defense of Christological Reading of the Old Testament

The church long read the Psalms christologically. Is there a way, after historical criticism, to learn from these ways of reading anew? More daringly now, is there a way to practice them while avoiding anti-Judaism and historical anachronism? Jason Byassee is the inaugural holder of the Butler Chair in Homiletics and Biblical Hermeneutics at Vancouver School of Theology, where he teaches preaching, Bible, leadership, church history, and writing.

2:30 – 3:15pm   Nancy L. deClaissé-Walford – On the Willows We Hung Up Our Harps: Preaching the Imprecatory Psalms

The imprecatory words in the Psalter are demands for violence in response to violence, making them difficult to incorporate into our worship experiences. We will explore why these words are a vital part of our relationship with God and others.

3:30 – 4:15pm   Mark Hamilton – Reflections on the Psalms in the Church’s Worship

A panel discussion with all available participants, moderated by Glenn Pemberton and Mark Hamilton. Mark Hamilton teaches courses in biblical Hebrew and Old Testament at ACU. Glenn Pemberton is a minister turned professor turned writer. He taught at Oklahoma Christian University before coming to Abilene Christian University.

Room 114, College of Biblical Studies,
Abilene Christian University

For a larger campus map, click here.

Fluid Roles and Regulations

Join us for a public lecture presented by ACU’s Center for the Study of Ancient Religious Texts, at Abilene Christian University on Tuesday, February 19 at 7:30 pm.

Dr. John Boyles of ACU’s College of Biblical Studies will give the lecture, titled: Fluid Roles and Regulations: Insights on Church Organization from the Ancient Mediterranean

Church leadership has always been complicated. Although we often think of the ancient gatherings of Christians as developing from one fixed stage of organization to the next, the whole of the ancient evidence portrays a much more flexible and fluid organization. Dr. Boyles, who researches the social aspects of ancient Mediterranean society, will explore what implications this may have for the church today.

This lecture is free, open to the public and will take place in the Onstead-Packer Biblical Studies Building in room 130 on ACU’s campus. For more information, contact csart@acu.edu.

For a larger campus map, click here.

We hope you will join us for this insightful evening!


Dr. John Boyles is Assistant Professor of New Testament in the Department of Bible, Missions, and Ministry at Abilene Christian University. His research interests include the reception history of the Bible and the social history of the ancient Mediterranean as it can inform the study of the New Testament, especially the lived experience in groups and associations. He teaches courses in biblical interpretation and biblical languages. Dr. Boyles and his wife, Lauren, came to Abilene in 2016 and are members of Highland Church of Christ.

Jesus King of Strangers

Join us for a special presentation and panel discussion presented by ACU’s Center for the Study of Ancient Religious Texts, at Abilene Christian University on Thursday, March 21 at 7 p.m.

Dr. Mark Hamilton of ACU’s College of Biblical Studies will give a presentation on his book: Jesus, King of Strangers: What the Bible Really Says about Immigration (Eerdmans 2019).

A panel discussion on the topic will follow, featuring Elizabeth Alvarez Bingham (General Counsel, Dallas County Republican Party), Domitien Nbizi (Outreach Minister, 11th and Willis Church of Christ, Abilene; translator, Abilene International Rescue Committee), Derran Reese (Abilene International Rescue Committee), and Myles Werntz (Professor of Ethics, Hardin Simmons University).

Hamilton’s book strikes a timely note:

“Nationalistic tribalism is on the rise around the world. How we treat strangers (foreigners, immigrants, migrants) is a prominent political, economic, and religious issue. Drawing on his personal experiences and expertise as a biblical scholar, Mark Hamilton argues that Scripture describes God’s people as strangers who are called to show grace and hospitality to others.

 

The church has often identified itself as a community of strangers. This was the story of the church during much of its early history. In many parts of the world, it still is. In a world in which 240 million persons are voluntary immigrants and another 60 to 70 million are refugees, the urgency of the church’s recovery of its native language on immigration remains vital. Jesus, King of Strangers examines the Bible’s key ideas about human movement and the relationship between migrants and their hosts. Hamilton argues that reclaiming the biblical language will free the church from hypernationalism and fear-driven demagoguery.” (Source: eerdmans.com)

This event is free, open to the public, and will take place in the Chapel on the Hill in the Onstead-Packer Biblical Studies Building on ACU’s campus. For more information, contact csart@acu.edu.

For a larger campus map, click here.

We hope you will join us for this insightful evening!

Carmichael-Walling Lectures 2018

You are invited to join us for the annual Carmichael-Walling Lectures at Abilene Christian University on Thursday, November 8.

Dr. John Fitzgerald of the University of Notre Dame will give the Lectures on the theme: Friends and Drunks: Two Glimpses into the Social History of the Early Christians and Their World.

4:00 p.m. – The Testament of Jesus: Wills, Friends, and the Fourth Gospel

Last wills and testaments in the ancient Mediterranean world often involved the testator’s friends, with friends made heirs, given legacies, assigned certain tasks, and asked to play other roles in the testation process. In this lecture attention will be given to the making of wills in antiquity, the roles played by friends of the testator, and some aspects of the Gospel of John that are illumined by this intersection of testation and friendship.

7:30 p.m. – Wine and the Problem of Intoxication in the World of Early Christianity

Heavy drinking and intoxication were common phenomena in the Greco-Roman world, and as the New Testament and other early Christian literature attest, early Christians were not immune from these problems. This lecture will give attention to the consumption of wine in the ancient Mediterranean world, the problem of intoxication, and the awareness of this problem by early Christian authors.

Lectures are free, open to the public and will take place in the Onstead-Packer Biblical Studies Building in Room 114 on ACU’s campus in Abilene, Texas. For more information, contact csart@acu.edu.

For a larger campus map, click here.

We hope you will join us for this insightful evening!


John Fitzgerald (ACU 1970) is Professor of Biblical Studies/Christianity and Judaism in Antiquity in the Department of Theology at the University of Notre Dame. He is a master teacher and has published many articles and books, focusing on the cultural contexts of early Christianity. Among the areas Fitzgerald is currently researching are the role of friendship in the spread of early Christianity, the economy—including issues such as the attitude of the church and the government regarding unemployment—and domestic violence in antiquity.

The Word in a Broken World

CSART lecture series during the Summit conference. Sept. 17, 2018. Abilene Christian University Campus, College of Biblical Studies, room 120.

The world is broken, but it has been for some time. Over the centuries Christians have responded to this brokenness in a variety of ways: reinterpreting, redirecting, re-envisioning, and reproducing the Word. In this series of lectures by exceptional biblical scholars, perhaps we might learn from the past both how to address and perhaps to heal this brokenness. We hope you will join us for this series of presentations. They are open to the public and free of charge.

September 17, 2018

9:00 – 9:45am   Glenn Pemberton — Spare the Rod and Spoil the Proverb: Reading Israel’s Wisdom in a World Lacking Wisdom

This session attempts to unpack the inner-workings of the simple two-line proverb in an effort to train up readers in the way they should go. Blessed is the person who doesn’t have a dog that returns to its vomit. And like the one who digs a pit, a little sleep and a little slumber can break bones.

10:00 – 10:45am   Curt Niccum — “What Is That Thing?” How We Got the New Testament

Do you hate when scripture is projected on screens? Does the reading of the Bible from handheld devices in church annoy you? Come see how early Christianity embraced new technologies that shaped their communities and changed the world

1:30 – 2:15pm   John H. Boyles — Fluid Roles and Regulations: Insights on Church Organization from the Ancient Mediterranean

Church leadership has always been complicated. Although we often think of the ancient gatherings of Christians as developing from one fixed stage of organization to the next, the evidence from the broad, ancient Mediterranean world portrays a much more flexible and fluid organization. What might that suggest for today?

2:30 – 3:15pm   Kelli Gibson — Guidance and Light: Christian Scriptures in Early Islam

Christianity and Islam, both tracing their roots to a common past, have been in conflict for centuries. Explore the shared and contested scriptural heritage of early Islam and Christianity as it appears in the Qur’an, apologetic writings and legendary stories.

3:30 – 4:15pm   Frederick D. Aquino — Cutting through the Noise: Truth and Discernment in the 21st Century

We feel overwhelmed by the noise of social media, news outlets, and the relentless stream of facts and opinion. This session will show how the thought of Christian monk and theologian John Cassian can help us sort through the many conflicting messages we encounter in public conversation today.

Room 120, College of Biblical Studies,
Abilene Christian University

For a larger campus map, click here.

The Reign of God in Daniel

The lecture is free and open to the public. We hope you will join us for this delightful and informative evening.

April 3, 2018
7:00 p.m.

Room 114, College of Biblical Studies,
Abilene Christian University

For a larger campus map, click here.

Cutting through the Noise: Truth and Discernment in the 21st Century

Does truth matter?

As our “knowledge” doubles in size every few months and we are constantly inundated with the noise of social media, news outlets, and the relentless stream of facts and opinion, many feel overwhelmed. What is true? Which facts matter? What can we trust—and how do we learn to trust it? These may be questions of wisdom more than data, discerning more than liking, seasoned practice more than quick judgment.

You are invited to join us for a public lecture by Dr. Fred Aquino, professor of theology and a recognized specialist in the study of knowledge. Keenly aware of the unique challenges of the 21st century, Dr. Aquino finds the teachings and practices of ancient Christian monastics provide surprising help for those of us today who find ourselves bewildered by the competing truth claims all around us.

The lecture is free and open to the public. We hope you will join us for this delightful and informative evening.

March 6, 2018
7:30 p.m.

Room 114, College of Biblical Studies,
Abilene Christian University

For a larger campus map, click here.

Contact, Conversation & Conversion: The Early Centuries of Muslim-Christian Relations

BnF ms. Arabe 3465, f. 130v

Questions out of the past…

Who are the Muslims? What do they believe? How do Muslims differ from Christians? Do the two have anything in common? Why are relationships so tense and what does the future hold? These questions seem very contemporary, but they were being asked long before the 21st century.

You are invited to join us for a public Lecture by Dr. Kelli Gibson, CSART fellow and assistant professor of historical theology in the College of Biblical Studies at ACU. Dr. Gibson is an expert on Christianity in the Middle East during the origins and early history of Islam. Her lecture takes us back to those early centuries so that we can better understand the current situation in light of the past.

The lecture is free and open to the public. We hope you will join us for this delightful and informative evening.

February 6, 2018
7:30 p.m.

Room 114, College of Biblical Studies,
Abilene Christian University

For a larger campus map, click here.

Carmichael-Walling Lectures 2017

You are invited to join us for the annual Carmichael-Walling Lectures at Abilene Christian University on November 9.

Dr. Mark Goodacre of Duke University will give the Lectures on the theme: Transforming Gospels: Exploring John’s Relationship to the Other Three. An expert on the New Testament Gospels, Dr. Goodacre will speak on the complex and controversial question of the relationship between the Gospel of John and the Synoptic Gospels. He will explore John’s knowledge of the Synoptics as revealed in the way the Evangelist casts their narratives in the dramatic mode. Also, he will address surprising and typically understated similarities in the Christology of the Synoptics and John.

  • 4 p.m. – John’s Dramatic Transformation of the Synoptics
  • 7 p.m. – John’s Christological Transformation of the Synoptics

Lectures are free, open to the public and will take place in the Onstead-Packer Biblical Studies Building in Room 114 on ACU’s campus. For more information, contact csart@acu.edu.

For a larger campus map, click here.

We hope you will join us for this insightful evening as we delve into the Gospels together and explore the links between them.


Mark Goodacre is Professor of New Testament & Christian Origins in the Department of Religious Studies at Duke University. He has published many articles. His books include, The Case Against Q: Studies in Marcan Priority and the Synoptic Problem (2002), and Thomas and the Gospels: The Case for Thomas’s Familiarity with the Synoptics (2012). Mark edits New Testament Gateway, one of the longest-lived websites devoted to New Testament Studies, and is a lively participant in online conversation about the connections between academic biblical studies and contemporary culture.

The Past, Present, and Future of Online Religious Conversation

A lunch conversation for faculty with Dr. Mark Goodacre from Duke University. Dr. Goodacre is an eminent New Testament scholar who has also been a pioneer in the use of the internet as a tool to further academic and popular understanding of biblical scholarship. He created the well-known New Testament Gateway in 1998 and has been a lively inhabitant of the blogosphere since 2003, frequently connecting religious scholarship and contemporary culture. In this informal conversation, Dr. Goodacre will reflect on his past and present experiences, with some clues about what we may expect to see from the internet in the future.

November 9, 2017
Adams Center for Teaching & Learning,
Abilene Christian University

St Catharine's Library Tour

CSART scholars and fellows have the opportunity to participate in a real-time internet tour of the newly refurbished Library of St. Catharine’s Monastery at Mt. Sinai in Egypt. Father Justin of Sinai will conduct the tour, showing participants around the new facilities. He will explain the significance of the Library and answer questions about its history, current projects, and ongoing use.

September 28, 2017

Ancient-Future Bible

The Word of God is living and active, and it has been so for millennia. The rich heritage we have from our predecessors in the faith, from manuscripts to art and from reflection to action, can be a profound source of spiritual strength today. On Monday 18 September CSART will host a series of presentations by biblical scholars under the heading, “Ancient-Future Bible,”  designed to empower Christians to engage God and his Word in new ways by going back to the future. The series of lectures will occur as part of ACU’s annual Summit conference and will meet in room 129 of the Biblical Studies Building on ACU’s campus. The lectures are free and open to the public.

9:00 a.m. Wendell Willis — Jonah: Interpreted, Reinterpreted, and Interred

When you think of death and the afterlife, what stories and images come to mind? Is your first thought about Jonah? This visual presentation explores the second most popular image found in early Christian art. Come see how the earliest believers communicated their most fundamental hopes with art in the Roman catacombs and elsewhere.

10:00 a.m. Jeff Childers — Recovering the Words of Jesus: Deciphering an Ancient Aramaic Manuscript of the Bible

Discovered in 1895 and offered for auction in 2009, the manuscript Codex Climaci Rescriptus has many layers of text, including parts of the Bible in a rare dialect of Palestinian Aramaic very near to Jesus’ own dialect. Students and scholars at ACU and around the world are applying their skill with ancient languages and digital humanities, along with the technology of multispectral imaging to decipher the mysteries of this ancient Christian book.

1:30 p.m. Glenn Pemberton — Goliath Was Only Six Feet Tall? Who Has Been Messing with My Bible?: How the Oldest Hebrew Manuscripts are Shaping the Newest English Versions

“Some manuscripts read, ‘Come to this Lecture.’” Although this note cannot be found in your Old Testament, similar notes like it can. Indeed, they now clutter the bottom of many pages of the Bible. At this session, find out why your Bibles have changed so much over the last fifty years and how they will change in the next fifty.

2:30 p.m. David Kneip — Ancient-Future Reading: Encountering Scripture with the Church Fathers

When you read the Bible, does it sometimes feel like your eyes are just moving over the page or screen, but you aren’t really engaging the Scriptures at any depth?  This session will offer you some ancient tools to renew and deepen your time in the Word, courtesy of our mothers and fathers in the faith.

3:30 p.m. Curt Niccum — Chromosomally Challenged Bibles: The War over Women in the Word

Feminism! Gender neutral! The last ten years has seen radical rewording of our Bibles and reactionary responses to it, even resulting in one version being pulled from bookstore shelves. What is going on and why is it such a big deal?

Artifacts & Ethics Luncheon

Media buzz about ancient artifacts…
CSART Fellow Dr. Richard Wright leads students and faculty in a roundtable discussion of the fascinating and controversial subjects of artifact acquisition, provenance, and repatriation.

September 14, 2017

Goliath was only Six Feet Tall? Who Has Been Messing with my Bible?

We are glad to report that this lecture has been rescheduled to occur at CSART’s Ancient-Future Bible series during ACU’s Summit.

How the Oldest Hebrew Manuscripts are Shaping the Newest English Versions

You are invited to join us for a public Lecture by Dr. Glenn Pemberton, Professor emeritus of Old Testament in the College of Biblical Studies at ACU.
This lecture will explore the strange and marvelous world of deciphering the ancient manuscripts and sources lying behind the text of the Hebrew Bible. Not for Hebrew readers only! This presentation helps explain where the text of our English Bibles comes from, and what may be coming soon to an English Bible near you.
We hope you will join us for this delightful and informative evening.
April 4, 2017
7:00 p.m.
Chapel on the Hill, College of Biblical Studies, Abilene Christian University

For a larger campus map, click here.

Eucharist & Ecclesiology: a Book Release Event

Join us for a special book release event!

In 2013, eminent scholars from different religious traditions gathered on ACU’s campus to discuss Eucharist & ecclesiology. The gathering was convened in honor of world-renowned specialist in Early Christianity and retired ACU professor, Dr. Everett Ferguson, who has written often on these subjects.
Under the editorial supervision of CSART fellow Dr. Wendell Willis, the proceedings from that conference have now been published in a robust collection of essays: Eucharist and Ecclesiology: Essays in Honor of Dr. Everett Ferguson (Wipf & Stock, 2017). The collection has already been gaining critical praise:

“The Eucharist is at the same time the beating heart of the Church’s worship and a flashpoint of sacramental separation. This excellent collection of scholarly and readable essays explores eucharistic theology in biblical, historical, and ecumenical perspectives, and relates it to the doctrine of the Church. A useful resource and a fine achievement.”

Paul Avis, University of Exeter, UK; editor of The Oxford Handbook of Ecclesiology

CSART is proud to celebrate the publication of this book in a special event, featuring responses by Dr. Ferguson and Dr. Willis, and an opportunity to purchase the book and have it signed by the editor and honoree.
We hope you will join us!
March 7, 2017
7:00 p.m. Room 130, College of Biblical Studies, Abilene Christian University

Reception following

Jonah: Interpreted, Reinterpreted, and Interred

How a small biblical story became prominent in early Christian art

You are invited to join us for a public Lecture by Dr. Wendell Willis, Professor of New Testament in the College of Biblical Studies at ACU
This lecture will explore how a small biblical story became prominent in the early Christian art of the ancient Catacombs and elsewhere.
We hope you will join us for this insightful and enlightening evening.
February 7, 2017
7:00 p.m. Chapel on the Hill
College of Biblical Studies, Abilene Christian University

CSART Opening

You are invited to join us for the inauguration of ACU’s Center for the Study of Ancient Religious Texts and the 30th annual Carmichael-Walling Lectures at Abilene Christian University. Father Justin of Sinai will give the Carmichael-Walling Lectures as part of an inaugural celebration featuring special events, distinguished speakers, and an opportunity to see rare book and manuscript treasures.
November 3, 2016 (More Details)

Who's Afraid of Ancient Texts?

Dr. Mark Hamilton gives the inaugural CSART lecture at ACU, “Who’s Afraid of Ancient Texts? Rediscovering Old Worlds for a New Era.”
November 3, 2016 (More Details)