Interview with Charles Hedrick
Charlie Hedrick grew up in the Mississippi delta. He initially planned to become a Southern Baptist minister but later opted for an advanced degree in religion. As a graduate student, his education took a sharp turn when he chanced upon the Nag Hammadi texts and began studying Coptic. Soon after, he found himself in Egypt working with the UNESCO International Committee for the Nag Hammadi Codices, reconstructing and translating texts and later excavating at the site of the discovery.
Charlie’s CV contains credits that are unusual for a university professor: For thirty years, he served as a U.S. Army Reserve Chaplain. He was called up for active duty at the Pentagon during Operation Desert Storm and later retired with the rank of Colonel. He is a recipient of the U.S. Armed Forces “Legion of Merit” award. He also worked for thirteen years as an L.A. County Probation Officer.
Though a leading Coptologist, Charlie prefers to describe himself broadly as a historian of Christian Origins. He especially enjoys reading texts that have not been seen since antiquity. His current book, in preparation for press, sports the working title, Unmasking Biblical Faith: Short Essays Exposing the Marginal Relevance of the Bible for Contemporary Religious Faith.
Charles W. Hedrick (Ph.D., Claremont Graduate University) is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Missouri State University and a charter Fellow of the Jesus Seminar. He is the author of many books including Parabolic Figures or Narrative Fictions? (2016), The Wisdom of Jesus (2014), House of Faith or Enchanted Forest? (2008), and Parables as Poetic Fictions (1994). In 1988–89, he served as President of the National Association of the Baptist Professors of Religion and in 2010 was selected for the Wall of Fame at Missouri State University.
Two audio set (80 & 8 mins)
CD $20; MP3 $5.99
This interview took place at the Westar Institute Spring 2018 National Meeting in Santa Rosa, California.