Distinguished Baylor Professor "Lays Down the Sword" in Lecture

Feb. 3, 2012

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The Baylor University Institute for Studies of Religion will host a lecture by Philip Jenkins, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of History and co-director for the Program on Historical Studies of Religion, who will speak on "Laying Down the Sword: Coming to Terms with Violent Scriptures" at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8, in Kayser Auditorium in the Hankamer School of Business, 1428 S. Fifth St.

The lecture is based on Jenkins's newest book, "Laying Down the Sword," and will focus on understanding violent passages of scripture in the Bible.

"My book looks at the very violent and seemingly bloodthirsty passages of the Bible, especially portions of the Old Testament, and asks how modern-day believers- Christians, but also Jews-can make sense of them," Jenkins said.

"My main theme is to confront these passages and suggest strongly that we don't ignore them. We need to recognize that they are there, and also that, properly understood, they don't undermine faith. Read in context, as part of the whole Bible's message, we can understand them and even incorporate them into an intelligent faith."

Elizabeth Davis, Ph.D., executive vice president and provost of academic affairs at Baylor University, will introduce Jenkins, who had been serving since 2009 as a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Baylor's Institute for Studies of Religion before joining the university full-time in January.

Jenkins is one of the world's leading religion scholars and has been lauded in disciplines, including sociology, criminology and religious studies. He holds a Ph.D. in history from Cambridge University and is considered an international expert on the subject of terrorism. He joined Baylor from Pennsylvania State University, where he was The Edwin Erle Professor of Humanities as well as a Distinguished Professor of History and Religious Studies.

The lecture is free and open to the public, but those interested are asked to register at www.BaylorISR.org

For more information, visit Baylor's Institute for Studies of Religion or call (254) 710-7555.

by Carmen Galvan, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

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