Scholars to Address Uses and Abuses of Scripture in Culture Wars

Jesus Seminar to meet concurrently with the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature

Press release | NOVEMBER 7, 2014 – Always simmering, sometimes exploding into public discourse, the Bible and Qur’an will receive much-needed historical scrutiny when the Westar Institute — home of the Jesus Seminar — presents its national meeting, “Scripture at the Crosshairs of Culture Wars,” November 21–23, 2014, at the San Diego Convention Center. The Westar national meeting will take place concurrently with the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature.

Sunday lectures will feature Raheel Raza, the President of the Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow as seen in the award-winning documentary Honor Diaries, and Hal Taussig, visiting Professor of New Testament at Union Theological Seminary in New York and editor of A New New Testament. Friday and Saturday, academic seminars bring together scholars in Westar’s innovative collaborative style. The Christianity Seminar will discuss and debate the viability of the category of Gnosticism for the study of early Christianity based on the groundbreaking work of Karen L. King, Winn Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Harvard Divinity School. The inaugural session of the Seminar on God and the Human Future will outline critical issues in current scholarship about the concept of God in a post-metaphysical, scientific world. » Continue reading 


Reimagining God Online Book Club

Reimagining God, by Lloyd Geering

You are cordially invited to join readers worldwide for a book club, hosted by, on Reimagining God: The Faith Journey of a Modern Heretic by Lloyd Geering. The Patheos website encourages interfaith dialogue by hosting blogs from a variety of faith perspectives. To participate, pick up a copy of the book, visit the Patheos Bookclub between November 1 and 15, 2014, and click on the cover image for Reimagining God. You can also sign up for book club updates on the Reimagining God book page.

The book club will feature special resources, including discussion questions, an excerpt from the documentary The Last Western Heretic, and more. Through vignettes of key thinkers, including Schleiermacher, Feuerbach, Jung, Teilhard de Chardin, and Robinson, Geering offers readers an opportunity to explore the regions where an individual’s intellectual and/or spiritual journey touches on human concepts of God. This is a particularly good book for groups interested in “finding their place” in and among various perspectives on the nature of God—even, or perhaps especially, for readers who are not sure they want the term God to have a future.

We look forward to seeing you there.


Forum 3,2: Assessing the Work of Rudolf Bultmann


The latest issue of Forum academic journal is now available! The articles in this issue are based on papers presented at a special Westar seminar on the legacy of the renowned German New Testament scholar and theologian Rudolf Bultmann. Bultmann’s groundbreaking research on Christian origins formulated most of the major issues that scholars have been addressing for the past generation.

» Read the Preface
» Subscribe to Forum 2015
» Order this issue


The Last Western Heretic (DVD)
Now available

The Last Western Heretic (DVD)

Filmed in New Zealand and Israel and premiered at the NZ Parliament, The Last Western Heretic explores Lloyd Geering’s worldview through a discussion of his ideas—there is no life after death, the Bible is not infallible, Jesus was not divine, among others. Includes live footage from his 1967 heresy trial on charges of “doctrinal error and disturbing the peace of the [Presbyterian] church” which resulted from Geering’s assertion that the resurrection of Jesus should not be interpreted literally.

» Watch an excerpt and order now


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