Spartanburg, S.C. – Dr. James H. Charlesworth, a celebrated authority on the interconnections between Judaism and early Christianity, will be in Spartanburg October 15-18 to deliver a series of public lectures hosted by the University of South Carolina Upstate and the Spartanburg Interfaith Connection, of which Converse College is a member. During his visit, Dr. Charlesworth will lecture at several different venues on topics including: Hillel and Jesus: Similarities and Distinctions; What Has Archaeology To Do With Faith?; Abraham’s Children: Is There a Future for Jews, Christians, and Muslims?; The Four-Party System: Jewish Sects in the Time of Jesus; Sermon: Can We Afford To Love Our Enemies?; and The Synagogue and The First Century Church: Common Practices.
“This is an extraordinary opportunity for anyone interested in exploring basic questions about religious life in the eastern Mediterranean some 2,000 years ago,” said Dr. David Damrel, assistant professor of religion at USC Upstate. “Professor Charlesworth can speak with authority about the many diverse voices and viewpoints that are too often overlooked when people tell the intertwined stories of Judaism and early Christianity.”
A distinguished scholar, Charlesworth is the George L. Collord Professor of New Testament Language and Literature at Princeton Theological Seminary and co-director of the Dead Sea Scrolls Project. He is also the founder of the Foundation on Jewish and Christian Origins. Charlesworth holds a B.D. from Duke Divinity School, a Ph.D. from Duke University Graduate School, and an E.T. (Élève Titulaire) from the École Biblique de Jerusalem. He preaches and lectures throughout the world.
Charlesworth specializes in the apocryphal and extra-canonical literature associated with the Hebrew Bible and New Testament and is an expert on the Dead Sea Scrolls. His research has also required him to work extensively with the writings of the first century Jewish historian Josephus. Also a specialist on the “historical” Jesus, his publications emphasize the importance of social and archaeological perspectives in what he classifies as “Jesus research.” As co-director of Princeton’s Dead Sea Scrolls Project, he has worked with an international team of specialists to make the famous scrolls found at Qumran more widely accessible in translation and in computer-enhanced scholarly editions. Besides his work on ancient religious texts, he has excavated at numerous sites in the Middle East including Migdal, Bethsaida, Nazareth, Jerusalem, Qumran, and elsewhere.
The Spartanburg Interfaith Connection (SIC) is a regional association of religious and secular institutions committed to promoting open academic discussion and public dialogue on religious themes in the Upstate. Participants include Central United Methodist Church, Church of the Advent, Converse College, First Presbyterian Church, Morningside Baptist Church, Temple B’Nai Israel, University of South Carolina Upstate, and Wofford College.