Conference to Examine "Jews and Christians
in the Early Centuries" on October 31
Posted October 18, 2002
HOLLAND -- Hope College and Western Theological
Seminary will host the one-day conference "Before the
Divide: Jews and Christians in the Early Centuries" on
Thursday, Oct. 31.
All sessions will be held on the Hope campus,
beginning with on-site registration at 9:30 a.m. in the
theatre lobby of the DeWitt Center.
The keynote speaker will be Dr. Paula Fredriksen,
professor of New Testament at Boston University, who will
discuss "Augustine and the Jews" at 10:30 a.m. in the DeWitt
Center main theatre. Subsequent events include a panel
discussion at 1:30 p.m. in the Maas Center auditorium; the
presentation of papers in two parallel sessions at 3:30 p.m.
in the Maas Center; and a second keynote address by
Fredriksen, who will present "Funny, They Don't Look Jewish:
Gentiles and Jews in the Ancient Synagogue" at 7 p.m. in the
Maas Center auditorium.
There will also be a conference lunch in the Maas
The public is invited. Admission is free to the
keynote addresses, the panel discussion and the parallel
sessions. The cost for the conference lunch is $10, with
advance reservations requested.
According to Fredriksen, Augustine's vision of the
Jews as a living witness to Christian truth was both
original and, compared with his attitude toward pagans and
non-Catholic Christians, uncharacteristically tolerant.
Unlike the other two groups, contemporary Jews, Augustine
argued, had a continuing positive role to play in the story
Fredriksen is the author of numerous books and
articles, including "From Jesus to Christ: The Origins of
the New Testament Images of Jesus," awarded the Yale
University Press Governors' Award for Best Book; and "Jesus
of Nazareth, King of the Jews: A Jewish Life and the
Emergence of Christianity," winner of the National Jewish
Book Award. Her latest book, "Augustine and the Jews," is
She is a graduate of Wellesley College. She
earned a Diploma in theology from Oxford University, and her
doctorate from Princeton University. Prior to joining the
Boston University faculty, she taught at Stanford
University, the University of California at Berkeley and the
University of Pittsburgh. She has also been a visiting
professor at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
In addition to Hope and Western Theological
Seminary, the conference's co-sponsors are Calvin College,
Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Valley State University
and the West Shore Committee for Jewish/Christian Dialogue.
Additional information may be obtained, and
reservations for the conference may be made, either at
jewishchristiandialogue.org or through Dr. Barry Bandstra of
the Hope religion faculty. He may be called at (616) 957-
6535; faxed at (616) 957-8551; e-mailed at:
firstname.lastname@example.org; and written at: Barry Bandstra, Religion
Department, Hope College, 126 E. 10th St., Holland, MI
49423. Those registering for the lunch are asked to send
him $10 along with their name, address, telephone and e-