Amy-Jill Levine, professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University, is the featured speaker at this year's Community Lecture Series, sponsored by Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd.

The lectures, slated for Nov. 4 and 5, will take place at the church, 1108 24th St. W., in Billings. Tickets are $60 for all four sessions or $25 for any single session.

Levine holds a Ph.D. from Duke University and five honorary doctorates. She brings a unique perspective to the study of the New Testament, as author and editor of 17 books, including "Short Stories by Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi" and "The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus."

The lecture series provides four opportunities to interact with Levine. She will speak on "Understanding Jesus Means Understanding Judaism" on Nov. 4 from 10 a.m. to noon. The presentation and conversation will focus on how religious leaders, educators and others can understand the New Testament controversies without disparaging the Jewish faith of Jesus. Participants in this event are asked to bring a copy of The Jewish Annotated New Testament.

The other three presentations are:

  • Nov. 4, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. — "Pearls and Prodigals: The Parables of Jesus."
  • Nov. 5, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. — "Jesus of Nazareth: Piety, Politics, Practice and Prayer."
  • Nov. 5, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. — "Agreeing to Disagree: How Jews and Christians Read Scripture Differently."

All the sessions include refreshments and an opportunity for dialogue with Levine.

Tickets are available at the church from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, or online at www.goodshepherdbillings.org. For information, visit the website or call 656-1080.

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