New Testament scholar and best-selling novelist to deliver annual Zerby lecture

Marcus J. Borg, best-selling author and Hundere Professor of Religion and Culture, Oregon University, will give a presentation titled The Bible: Instrument of Oppression or Liberation? at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11, in Chase Hall Lounge, 56 Campus Avenue. The public is invited to attend the 2002-03 Zerby Lecture in Contemporary and Religious Thought, sponsored by the chaplain’s office, free of charge.

Borg will also host a luncheon discussion titled Conflict About the Bible in the Church Today: Could the Bridge be the Metaphor? for clergy and religious educators at noon on the Bates campus. For more information or to register, please call 207-786-6077.

A biblical scholar and lecturer, Borg has been described by The New York Times as “a leading figure among the new generation of Jesus scholars.” He is the author of 11 books, including Jesus: A New Vision (1987) and the 1994 best-seller Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time: The Historical Jesus and the Heart of Contemporary Faith, the best-selling book by a contemporary Jesus scholar.

His recent books are The God We Never Knew (1997); The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions (1999), co-authored with N. Thomas Wright; God at 2000 (2000); and Reading the Bible Again for the First Time (2001), named one of the “ten best-selling books in religion” by Publishers Weekly.

He has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, PBS’ Newshour, ABC’s Prime Time with Peter Jennings and NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross.

A fellow of the Jesus Seminar, he has been the national chair of the Historical Jesus Section of the Society of Biblical Literature and co-chair of its International New Testament program committee. President of the Anglican Association of Biblical Scholars and a regular columnist for “Beliefnet,” Borg has lectured worldwide. His work has been translated into seven languages.

The Rev. Peter Gomes, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals at Harvard University and author of The Good Book, called Borg “one of the very few New Testament scholars of our age whose learning is so lucid that it takes the Bible back from the specialist and makes it available in all its complexity and splendor to the general reader: nothing short of a blessing, even a miracle!”

The annual Zerby lecture honors the late Rayborn L. Zerby of Lewiston, professor emeritus of religion and dean of the faculty at Bates.

Each year, the program brings to campus leading commentators on contemporary religious thought. Previous Zerby lecturers have included Holocaust chronicler Elie Wiesel and Gomes, a Bates alumnus.

For more information, call the chaplain’s office at 207-786-8272.

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