Seminars

Faith And Reason seminars bring audiences face to face with today's leading religious scholars. Through innovative lecture presentations, group discussion, and Q&A, audiences will gain unforgettable insight into the intersection of faith and public life.

Current Seminar(s):

No seminars scheduled yet. Please check back with us soon!


Past Seminars:

Joan Chittister

Spirituality, Self, & Society

    Joan Chittister, OSB (The Order of St. Benedict) is coming to Houston in October 14 and 15, 2016, for three public lectures on the theme, "Spirituality, Self and Society." Chittister will be presented by Christ Church Episcopal Cathedral, The Bishop John E. Hines Center for Spirituality and Prayer, and The D. L. Dykes, Jr. Foundation. In addition, sponsoring congregations and communities will include St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Grace Episcopal Church, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Memorial Drive United Methodist Church, Covenant Church, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, Plymouth United Church (UCC), Trinity Episcopal Church, Covenant Baptist Church, Foundation for Contemporary Theology, and The Joe B. and Louise P. Cook Foundation.

    Sr. Joan will base the three lectures on her latest book,  The Rule of Benedict: A Spirituality for the 21st Century. Lecture titles are: "Compassion: The Glue of Society"; "An Uncommon Case for A Common Good"; and "The Role of the Public Intellectual in a Just Democracy."

    Each of Chittister's lectures will be followed by audience conversations and responses by four responders representing the Wisdom literature in Judaism, Buddhism, Islam and Christianity. A schedule of the two-day seminar appears below. All lectures will be in the Nave of Christ Church Cathedral, 1117 Texas Avenue, Houston 77002.

    In her role as a United Nations Ambassador, Sister Joan has worked around the world with women of other faith traditions.  She describes in  The Rule of Benedict the central place that each faith’s wisdom literature occupies in establishing common ground of understanding, mutual respect, and shared good will. She writes: 

    Wisdom literature endures precisely because it is not the history of a particular people, it is not the codification of the ethical mores of a single culture, it is not the teachings of science, it is not, in fact, devoted to the presentation of any particular body of knowledge.  Wisdom literature takes as its subject matter the meaning and manner of achieving the well-lived life.  It deals with the spiritual, the ascetic, the Divine, and the nature of virtue.  Its concerns lie in the meaning of holiness and the fundaments of happiness.Wisdom literature is common to every great tradition.  It lifts the spiritual life from the legal to the mystical, from theology to spirituality, from a study of the nature of religion to the depths of the personal spiritual life. In Hinduism, the basic outlines of the spiritual life are found in texts like the Upanishads; in Buddhism, in the Dhammapada; in Judaism, in the books of Proverbs and Job, of Ecclesiastes and Wisdom; in Islam, the writings of the Sufis; and in Christianity, in the Apothegmata or the writings of the Desert Monastics.  Out of the wells of wisdom like these have sprung the teachings of the great mystics and spiritual directors of every age and every tradition.

    NEED HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS?

    Special group rates for hotel reservations are available at the  Magnolia Hotel, downtown Houston. Click on the following link for hotel reservations: https://aws.passkey.com/event/14563675/owner/25349/home. Group rate rooms are limited.

    Notes:

      Christ-church.png The Bookstore at Christ Church Cathedral will be open throughout the seminar event. Many of Sr. Joan Chittister’s books will be available.

      Christ Church Cathedral will be offering a nursery for children ages 6 months to 10 years of age.
    • Student rates are available.  Please call Jennifer Vail, 1-800-882-7425.
    • Lunch will be catered by Epicurean Delight _ Patti Ramsey, Owner.  A vegetarian option is available.


    Responders

    Claire Villarreal received her PhD from Rice University’s Department of Religion and has taught academic courses at Rice and UH Clear Lake.  She has also led meditation sessions at Dawn Mountain, the Jung Center, Discovery Green, and various other settings in Houston and Fort Worth.  She is now the Programs Manager at Dawn Mountain Center for Tibetan Buddhism.

    Melissa Weiningeris the Anna Smith Fine Senior Lecturer in Jewish Studies at Rice University. She received her Ph.D. in Jewish Studies from The University of Chicago in 2010. She teaches courses at Rice on a variety of topics, including Israel, biblical and modern Jewish literature, and gender. She is currently at work on a book on diaspora Israeli literature.

    Carissa Baldwin-McGinnisis an Episcopal priest whose vocation began in the field of human rights and faith-based community organizing. In her church-based work Carissa has led members of faith communities in outreach and the pursuit of peace and justice.  She has a deep, spiritual commitment to contemplation and non-violence.  Carissa is currently the Associate Rector at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas.

    Heba Khan is Assistant Editor at the journal of Feminist Economics, Rice University. She holds a MA in Religious Studies from Rice University.

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Houston: Confronting Poverty From the Heart of Faith

SCHOLARSHIPS ARE AVAILABLE!  1-800-882-7424

(We do not want anyone to miss this event.  If you can pay, please do so.  If you can't pay, please call us.)

A three-day organizing event to unite religious progressives, academics, and justice activists to act in solidarity to promote economic justice. 

As religious progressives we embrace a non-violent resistance to domination systems that marginalize the poor and the weak. Both Torah and the New Testament are clear about God's dream for the world - a society of equality and justice where everyone has enough. As people of faith we recognize that all women, men and children are members of the family of God; they belong to us and we belong to them. We now deliberately join together determined to create economic and social justice for all.As progressive religious people - regardless of our faith or political affiliation - we must pay attention and take action to combat this injustice. It's time to turn the page in Texas!

Presenters:

Pastor Ralph Douglas West Senior Pastor / Founder, The Church Without Walls


Amy-Jill Levine Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of New Testament Studies at Vanderbilt University Divinity School, Department of Religious Studies, and Graduate Department of Religion 


John Dominic Crossan Professor Emeritus, DePaul University, Historical Jesus scholar and author


Joerg Rieger Wendland-Cook Professor of Constructive Theology, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, scholar and author


Keri Day Assistant Professor of Theological and Social Ethics and Director of Black Church Studies Program, Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University


Robin Meyers Senior minister at Mayflower Congregational UCC Church & Distinguished Professor of Social Justice, Oklahoma City University 


Peter Laarman Former director, Progressive Christians Uniting; Justice activist and strategist


Annette Lareau The Gray/Wawro Lectures presents "Class, Race and Childrearing – Unequal Childhoods and Unequal Adulthoods" Stanley I. Sheerr Professor of the Social Sciences, University of Pennsylvania


Ryan Valentine Deputy Director, Texas Freedom Network


Martha Ojeda Associate Director, Fe y Justicia Worker Center, Houston


Rosemary Hennessy Professor of English L.H. Favrot Professor of Humanities Director, Center for the Study of Women Gender, and Sexuality (CSWGS), Rice University. 


Brett Merfish Staff Attorney for Texas Appleseed


Cristina Tzintzun Director, Workers Defense Project


Ginny Goldman Executive Director, Texas Organizing Project


Stephen L. Klineberg Professor of Sociology, Co-Director, Kinder Institute for Urban Research, Department of Sociology, Rice University.


Diana Strassmann Director of the Program in Poverty, Justice, and Human Capabilities; Founding Editor,Feminist Economics, Carolyn and Fred McManis Distinguished Professor in the Practice, Rice University.


Rosemarie Rieger Organizer, North Texas Jobs with Justice


Sissy Farenthold American Politician, Attorney, Activist and Educator


Muffie Moroney Attorney, Activist


Sherry Merfish Attorney, Activist


Richard Shaw Secretary-Treasurer Harris County, AFL-CIO


Laura Perez Boston Executive Director, Fe y Justicia Worker Center, Houston


Becky Moeller President, Texas AFL-CIO  


Rev. Steve Wells Pastor, South Main Baptist Church, Houston  


Terri Burke Executive Director, ACLU of Texas

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Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan

Parables By & About Jesus

​On February 18-19, 2011, more than 750 people gathered in Anderson, South Carolina at the Boulevard Baptist Church, to hear Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan. Together these two renowned scholars and authors presented “Parables By & About Jesus.” They pointed out that the language we use about faith is critical. The words we select are crucial. It matters very much that our claims about historical Jesus are grounded not only in a sacred text, but also that they are grounded in the stones and on the epitaphs of the first century. Borg and Crossan encouraged participants to understand that to authentically participate in Christian tradition means to take seriously what was going on in the world when historical Jesus resisted the domination system of his own day and encouraged and insisted on non-violent alternatives to the way empire civilizations do business. Their lectures stressed the idea that to claim the tradition is to know the tradition in its history and in its original meanings and contexts. Nobody can do this better with authentic tradition than Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan.

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John Dominic Crossan, Marcus Borg, and Joan Chittister

Does Christianity Have A Future? Schism, Scandal and Loss of the Sacred

A DVD is available from this great event! Visit the product in our store to place your order. Experience renowned theologians Marcus Borg, John Dominic Crossan, and Joan Chittister  together live on stage exploring topics of faith and life with honesty, integrity, and expertise. Audiences can look forward to their serious and useful examination of Christianity will have a future. This FaithandReason® seminar was held at Christ Church Episcopal Cathedral, Houston, TX, October 18 & 19, 2013. If you have questions or prefer a PRINTED MAIL-INREGISTRATION FORM, please call 1-800-882-7424 or 1-601-354-0767 and speak with Jennifer Vail, or jennifervail@faithandreason.org.

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Amy-Jill Levine

Jesus, Judaism & Jewish-Christian Relations

Highly acclaimed and popular New Testament scholar,  Amy-Jill Levine  of Vanderbilt University was the keynote speaker for a one-day seminar, JESUS, JUDAISM AND JEWISH-CHRISTIAN RELATIONS at  Ruth Taylor Recital Hall on the Trinity University campus, Austin, TX, Saturday, October 13, 2012.  Dr. Levine also made a brief presentation on Friday night, October 12, 2012 at Temple Beth El. Sponsoring partners included The Workshop-SA, The D. L. Dykes, Jr. Foundation, Trinity University, Temple Beth El, St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Oblate School of Theology, Episcopal Church of Reconciliation, SoL Center at University Presbyterian Church and Seminary of the Southwest, Austin.Amy-Jill Levine describes herself as a "Yankee Jewish feminist who teaches in a predominantly Christian divinity school in the buckle of the Bible Belt, (Vanderbilt/Nashville)." She is a widely respected New Testament scholar who is noted for combining historical-rigor,literary-critical sensitivity, and a frequent dash of humor with a commitment to eliminating anti-Jewish, sexist, and homophobic theologies.Dr. Levine is University Professor of New Testament and Jewish  Studies, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of New Testament Studies, and  Professor of Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University Divinity School and College of Arts and Sciences.Topics of Dr. Levine's three lectures included, "Jesus, Judaism& Jewish-Christian Relations," "How Jews and Christians Read Scripture Differently," and "Hearing The Parables Through Jewish Ears." Q&A discussion sessions followed the second and third lectures.

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Robin R. Meyers

Connections Live! 2012

​ This two-day seminar event held in Temple, TX, November 19 and 20, 2012, featuring provocative presentations by Dr. Robin R. Meyers, was hosted by Barbara Wendland, a life-long Methodist and author of the widely popular newsletter, CONNECTIONS.  The event provided an opportunity for thoughtful, forward-looking Christians from 16 states to come together to reassure each other that even thought their views might be in the minority in their churches or local communities, they are, in fact, not alone.  Dr. Meyers' presentations included "Galilean Sage or Supernatural Savior?," "The Underground Church / Reclaiming the Subversive Way of Jesus," and "Being Subversive for the Cause of Love / What Would It Look Like

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John Dominic Crossan

The Power of Parable

​John Dominic Crossan, renowned historical Jesus scholar, presents three provocative lectures to participants at  Unitarian Church of Baton Rouge, March 23 - 24, 2012.  Dr. Crossan explores the topic "How Fiction By Jesus Became Fiction About Jesus" by walking participants through the evolution of Jesus's parables as they are told and re-told by the gospel writers.  Dr. Crossan introduces audiences to the particularities of first century Jewish life, belief and thought that made the parables of Jesus so readily accessible and yet so very explosive for his listeners. 

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John Dominic Crossan

The Power of Parable

​​John Dominic Crossan, renowned historical Jesus scholar, presents three provocative lectures to participants at The First Presbyterian Church of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, August 18 and 19, 2012.  Dr. Crossan explores the topic "How Fiction By Jesus Became Fiction About Jesus" by walking participants through the evolution of Jesus's parables as they are told and re-told by the gospel writers.  Dr. Crossan introduces audiences to the particularities of first century Jewish life, belief and thought that made the parables of Jesus so readily accessible and yet so very explosive for his listeners.

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Joan Chittister, OSB

God, The World, & The Gap Between

​Sr. Joan Chittister articulates with profound clarity and power what women have suffered at the hands of patriarchal systems down through history.  In this two-day seminar held at St. James Episcopal Church in  Baton Rouge, LA, November 11 - 12, 2011, Sr. Joan describes in startlingly well-documented descriptions, the ways women around the world today are the acute victims of the greatest ills of modern nations and societies.  Her task is not just to paint the grisly scenes of starvation and brutalization of women in the 21st century; her purpose is bigger.  Her passion is that we all see, women and men alike, that the social, ethical and personal pathologies that diminish and dehumanize people everywhere are continually fed by the system of failure of our religious' and our societies' refusal to lift women into balanced partnership with their male counterparts.  Sr. Joan's lectures included "The New Violence & It's Unexpected Victims," "Overcoming the Obstacles & Advancing the Cause of Humanity," and "What Does God Really Want?"

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Richard Rohr

The Change That Changes Everything

​In this FaithandReason® seminar, held at First United Methodist Church in Baton Rouge, LA, April 8-9, 2011,Richard Rohr explores "The Change That Changes Everything" in four powerfully provocative lectures:  "How We See and How We Don't See;" "Contemplation as an Alternate Consciousness;" "The Rediscovery of Seeing;" and "Implications for Religion, Relationships and Politics."  Throughout this seminar, Richard Rohr had the remarkable ability to help participants recognize how the "normalcy" of the way we view people, the world, and ourselves keeps us divided, anxious, and overwhelmed.

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Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan

Parables By & About Jesus

​On February 18-19, 2011, more than 750 people gathered in Anderson, South Carolinaat the Boulevard Baptist Church, to hear Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan. Together these two renowned scholars and authors presented “Parables By & About Jesus.” They pointed out that the language we use about faith is critical. The words we select are crucial. It matters very much that our claims about historical Jesus are grounded not only in a sacred text, but also that they are grounded in the stones and on the epitaphs of the first century. Borg and Crossan encouraged participants to understand that to authentically participate in Christian tradition means to take seriously what was going on in the world when historical Jesus resisted the domination system of his own day and encouraged and insisted on non-violent alternatives to the way empire civilizations do business. Their lectures stressed the idea that to claim the tradition is to know the tradition in its history and in its original meanings and contexts. Nobody can do this better with authentic tradition than Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan.

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John Dominic Crossan and Joerg Rieger

Radically Faithful: Passionate Christianity Confronting Empire & Savage Inequality

​Highly regarded scholars and authors, John Dominic Crossan and Joerg Rieger  co-presented "RADICALLY FAITHFUL: PASSIONATE CHRISTIANITY CONFRONTING EMPIRE & SAVAGE INEQUALITY” in a two-day seminar at All Saints Church in Pasadena, CA,  Friday October 8 and Saturday, October 9, 2010.  The two eminent scholars brought together two complementary, academic backgrounds with broad experience in research, teaching, writing and public lecturing. Dr. Crossan focused on historical Jesus as non-violent resistor to the economic exploitation of Imperial Roman ambition. Dr. Rieger addressed the history of Christianity's collaboration with empire and the thread of resistance that has been present across time and is expressed today in progressive Christian thought and action. 

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John Dominic Crossan and Joerg Rieger

God & Imperial Power / Jesus & Economic Injustice

​In the FaithandReason® seminar, "GOD & IMPERIAL POWER: Jesus & Economic Injustice," held at First United Methodist Church in Richardson, TX, October 23-24, 2010John Dominic Crossan and Joerg Rieger  , combine their formidable scholarly talents in a series of presentations that greatly expanded our awareness of the historic collusion between Christianity and the empires of the west from Jesus' non-violent program of resistance to Roman Imperialism under Augustus to the imperialistic "partnerships" we experience today in the 21st Century.  In this seminar John Dominic Crossan excavates the historical Jesus movement in a bright, clarifying light, replete with details about life on the Sea of Galilee under the imperial and economic domination of Herod Antipater (Rome's vassal king) against which Jesus boldly and resolutely rebelled. For most of us, this is very new, very provocative material. It is certain to stimulate deep re-thinking about what Christianity was and what it still could be. Joerg Rieger explicates the collaborativerelationship between Empire and Christianity that began with Constantine and the Councils of Nicea and continued all the way through the western European expansionism that made Christianity the agent of its cultural and economic domination of the Americas. Rieger is not afraid to interrogate Christianity behind the scenes. And yet, he says, down through this same history, there has continually been a Christianity "at the margins," a Christianity whose voice can be heard from the people who have known the underside, the shadow-side of empire.

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Joan Chittister & Richard Rohr

The Human Spirit & The Times We Live In

​On May 1-2, 2009, Laurie Auditorium at Trinity University  Campus, San Antonio, TX,  hosted a FaithandReason® seminar "The Human Spirit and The Times We Live In."  World-renowned contemplatives, Joan Chittister, OSB, and Richard Rohr  take us deep within the human spirit to show us that quest for spiritual life leads us unavoidably into our deep connection to all life and all people.  We find there new eyes to see and new ears to hear.  At the depths, we wake up to the realities of all human experience and discover that we cannot turn our backs on any suffering, any oppression or any injustice.  To nurture the human spirit is to discover that we live in a sea of human connectedness.

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Joan Chittister and Richard Rohr

The Human Spirit & The Times We Live In

On April 29 & 30, 2009, Christ Church Cathedral, Houston, TX,  hosted a FaithandReason® seminar "The Human Spirit and The Times We Live In."  World-renowned contemplatives, Joan Chittister, OSB, and Richard Rohr  take us deep within the human spirit to show us that quest for spiritual life leads us unavoidably into our deep connection to all life and all people.  We find there new eyes to see and new ears to hear.  At the depths, we wake up to the realities of all human experience and discover that we cannot turn our backs on any suffering, any oppression or any injustice.  To nurture the human spirit is to discover that we live in a sea of human connectedness.

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Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan

Jesus & Paul / Continuity or Discontinuity?

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Marcus Borg & John Dominic Crossan

The First Christmas

In the FaithandReason® seminar,The First Christmas,hosted by All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Atlanta, GA, December 12 & 13, 2008, renowned Jesus scholars, Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan, joined  forces to show how history has biased our reading of the nativity story as it  appears in the gospels of Matthew and Luke. They explore the beginning of the life of Christ, peeling away the sentimentalism that has built up over the last two thousand years around this most well known of all stories to reveal the truth of what the gospels actually say. Borg and Crossan helped us to see this  well-known narrative afresh by answering the question, "What do these  stories mean?" in the context of both the first century and the twenty-first century.    

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Beverly Lanzetta

Imagining A New Global Spirituality: Mysticism, Faith and Ethics for the 21st Century

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John Shelby Spong

How the Synagogue Shaped the Jesus Story

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John Dominic Crossan

God & Empire

January 25-26, 2008, John Dominic Crossan presented 4 lectures at the UNM Continuing Education Center in Albequerque, New Mexico.  Crossan opened the door on the real world of historical Jesus and you don't get to see it unless you see him against the background of Rome's Empire.  He asked these important questions: have those who resort to violence as a means of change succeeded in their quest for empire?  Or has nonviolence been more effective in bringing about lasting change? 

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John Shelby Spong

Jesus for the Non-Religious

In this FaithandReason seminar held November 16-th, 2007, John Shelby Spong visits Mountview Boulevard Presbyterian Church and presents 4 lectures that rejected the vacuous, angry imagery of literalist and fundamentalist Christianity in favor of a human Jesus; a Creator-God committed to the life and health of the planet earth; and a healing community of persons that embraces all people regardless of religion, race, gender, nation or lifestyle. He drew back the curtain on how the early followers forged their convictions about who Jesus of Nazareth was and how they shaped the Gospels and later Christian Orthodoxy. He traced the evolution of the early Christian thought surrounding “The Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world.” After illustrating a universal, non-exclusive portrait of Jesus who seeks abundant living for all people, Jack Spong gave testimony to a life of Christian evolution and change made possible for him by patience, good will and compassion fromthe very people his own denomination judged and excluded: women, minorities, and gays and lesbians.

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Marcus Borg, John Dominic Crossan & Joan Chittister

Mysticism, Empowerment & Resistance

October 4-6, 2007, Marcus Borg, Joan Chittister, OSB and John Dominic Crossan, presented 9 lectures at Christ Church Cathedral in downtown Houston, TX.  The remarkable scholars synthesized their work and gifts into a transforming awareness.  They shared that to experience the mystical presence of the sacred is to be empowered to resist the normalcy of civilization that insists on using violence and domination to achieve its brand of imperial peace. 

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John Dominic Crossan

God & Empire

​On May 11-12, 2007, John Dominic Crossan presented four lectures in San Antonio, TX at St. Mark's Episcopal Church and Madison Square Presbyterian Church.  In this fine study of civilization, culture and transformation, Crossan asked important questions: have those who resort to violence as a means of change succeeded in their quest for empire?  Or has nonviolence been more effective in bringing about lasting change?  He opened the door on the real world of historical Jesus and you don't get to see it unless you see him against the background of Rome's Empire. 

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John Shelby Spong

Jesus for the Non-Religious

In San Antonio, TX on February 9-11, 2007, John Shelby Spong presented 4 extraordinary lectures at Trinity University & Madison Square Presbyterian Church. He drew back the curtain on how the early followers forged their convictions about who Jesus of Nazareth was and how they shaped the Gospels and later Christian Orthodoxy. He traced the evolution of the early Christian thought surrounding “The Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world.” After illustrating a universal, non-exclusive portrait of Jesus who seeks abundant living for all people, Jack Spong gave testimony to a life of Christian evolution and change made possible for him by patience, good will and compassion from the very people his own denomination judged and excluded: women, minorities, and gays and lesbians. 

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John Shelby Spong

What is Christianity Really About: Guilt and Control or Life and Grace?

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Marcus Borg,John Dominic Crossan & Joan Chittister

Mysticism, Empowerment & Resistance

A 3 day seminar featuring Marcus Borg, Joan Chittister, OSB and John Dominic Crossan, was held in the First Baptist Church of Austin, TX on May 18-20, 2006. More than a thousand people attended each session. The multi-denominational and inter-faith audience came to explore the connection between deep spirituality and a desire for distributive justice. 

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John Dominic Crossan

Jesus & Paul / Rome & America: Replacing the Empire of Rome with the Kingdom of God

On October 27-29, 2005 in Jackson, MS at Millsaps College, John Dominic Crossan gave three lectures based on his book “In Search of Paul,” which he coauthored with field archaeologist Dr. Jonathan Reed. Crossan, a renowned historical Jesus authority on first century Christianity, explored the biblical text, first and second century non-Christian documents and cutting edge archaeological research to show that the Mediterranean world of the first century was dominate and shaped by Roman Imperial religious and economic agenda. He said that early Christians understood that it was not Caesar who was the Son of God and Savior of the world as the Empire thought, but in fact, it was Jesus of Nazareth, a Jewish peasant from Galilee in Judea. Crossan’s lectures provided a new, vibrant picture of the world into which Jesus and the emerging church were born. 

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John Dominic Crossan

Jesus & Paul / Rome & America: Replacing the Empire of Rome with the Kingdom of God

On January 18-20, 2005 in Shreveport, LA at Centenary College of Louisiana, John Dominic Crossan gave three lectures based on his book “In Search of Paul,” which he coauthored with field archaeologist Dr. Jonathan Reed. Crossan, a renowned historical Jesus authority on first century Christianity, explored the biblical text, first and second century non-Christian documents and cutting edge archaeological research to show that the Mediterranean world of the first century was dominate and shaped by Roman Imperial religious and economic agenda. He said that early Christians understood that it was not Caesar who was the Son of God and Savior of the world as the Empire thought, but in fact, it was Jesus of Nazareth, a Jewish peasant from Galilee in Judea. Crossan’s lectures provided a new, vibrant picture of the world into which Jesus and the emerging church were born. 

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Marcus Borg, Walter Brueggemann, Joan Chittister, John Dominic Crossan, A.J. Levine, William Mallard, Tex Sample, Phyllis Tickle, Arvind Sharma

The Prospect of a World Community of Religions: Domination or Collaboration?

On October 13-5th, 2004,  A three day seminar took place at Millsaps College  in Jackson, MS featuring nine of the world’s renowned scholars:  Marcus Borg, Walter Brueggemann, Joan Chittister, John Dominic Crossan, A.J. Levine, William Mallard, Tex Sample, Phyllis Tickle, Arvind Sharma. Given their increasing mutual awareness and potential for interaction, can religions coexist in harmony, or must they compete with each other to compete for the allegiance of the peoples of the world? It seems that religious communities might address shared moral and spiritual concerns for working together, but historic legacies of misunderstanding, contempt, are formidable obstacles. In this symposium, a team of distinguished religion scholars assessed the prospects for practical inter-religious relations in today’s world.

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Marcus Borg

The Heart of Christianity

On April 22-23, 2004, Marcus Borg presented a 2 day seminar in Jackson, MS at Millsaps College  providing a valuable glimpse into the essence of Christianity for those who have left the faith because they no longer believe its doctrines and those who are trying to remain in the faith while questioning its doctrines. With those people in mind, Borg emphasized the transformational aspect of Christianity by examining the "emerging paradigm" that is gradually replacing the belief-centered paradigm of the last several hundred years. The new paradigm is about loving God and loving what God loves, rather than rigidly adhering to a specific set of beliefs. In exploring this new way of "being Christian," he offered a middle ground for conservative and liberal Christians, though it's unlikely conservatives will conclude, as he does, that Jesus was not really the Son of God, nor are liberals likely to begin using the term "born again," as he advocated. Still, there's much here that both sides can agree on, possibly helping to bring them a step closer to the unity that has eluded them for centuries.

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John Dominic Crossan and Tex Sample

Techonology & The Future of the Church, a FaithandReason Seminar 2003

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