Theologian Dr. John D. Crossan will present the address "God and Empire" as the 2008 Danforth Lecture at Hope College on Tuesday, Jan. 29, at 3:30 p.m. in the Maas Center auditorium.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

John Dominic Crossan was born in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary, Ireland in 1934. He was educated in Ireland at Maynooth College, in Rome at the Pontifical Biblical Institute, and in Jerusalem at the Ecole Biblique.

Crossan was a member of the 13th-century Roman Catholic religious order, the Servites, from 1950 to 1969 and an ordained priest from 1957 to 1969. He taught at DePaulUniversity for 25 years and held a visiting professorship at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass. He has been a guest lecturer at many distinguished universities including the University of Chicago and Northwestern University. He was co-director of the Jesus Seminar from 1985 to 1996 and chair of the Historical Jesus Section of the Society of Biblical Literature from 1992 to 1998.

He has contributed articles and reviews for dozens of journals and has written more than 18 books over the last 30 years. "The Birth of Christianity" was a "Publishers Weekly" 1998 "best book of the year." Four recent titles--"The Historical Jesus," "Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography," "Who Killed Jesus" and "The Birth of Christianity"--were national bestsellers for a combined total of 22 months. In another recent book, "Excavating Jesus: Beneath the Stones, Behind the Texts," Crossan joins a brilliant archaeologist to illuminate the life and teaching of Jesus against the background of his world.

He has received numerous academic awards over the years, including the American Academy of Religion Award for Excellence in Religious Studies and the Via Sapientiae Award, DePaul University's highest honor.

The list of his print, radio, and television interviews and reviews fills more than 13 full pages. Crossan's interviews include "The New York Times," "The Chicago Tribune," "The Los Angeles Times," "The Boston Globe," National Public Radio's "Fresh Air," Larry King Live and the ABC special "The Search for Jesus" with Peter Jennings which aired on Monday, June 26, 2000. Some of John Dominic Crossan's other writing can be found at Beliefnet.

He lives with his wife Sarah near Orlando, Fla.

The Danforth Lecture is sponsored by the Hope College department of religion with support from an endowment established by the Danforth Foundation of St. Louis, Mo. The program was established by the foundation "to deepen and enlarge the religious dimension of the campus family through speakers who can reflect on the broad, interdenominational and yet positive sense of the Judaeo-Christian perspectives of life and existence."

Some of the many distinguished scholars who have visited the campus through the program in the past include Dr. Stanley M. Hauerwas of the Divinity School at Duke University; Dr. Martin E. Marty of the University of Chicago Divinity School; Dr. Phyllis Trible of Union Theological Seminary; Dr. Jon D. Levenson of Harvard University; Dr. Daniel Maguire of Marquette University; and Dr. Randall Balmer of Columbia University.

The Maas Center is located at 264 Columbia Ave., on Columbia at 11th Street.