Monday, September 23, 2013

Parade of religion speakers on the way

Time to go get your calendars. Some intriguing speakers are just ahead.

Here’s the lineup:

Monday (Sept. 23) – Noted Israeli archeologist Gaby Barkay will talk at UNC Charlotte about two of the oldest fragments of a biblical text ever found.

The tiny texts include the Priestly Blessing (Numbers 6:24-26) widely used in synagogues and churches and the oldest example of the divine name “Yahweh” written in paleo-Hebrew letters.

Inscribed on silver scrolls, the fragments predate the Dead Sea Scrolls by 500 years.

Barkay will speak at 7 p.m. in Cone University Center’s McKnight Hall.

Wednesday (Sept. 25) -- James Tabor, chair of UNC Charlotte’s Department of Religious Studies, will kick off the Milford Dialogue, a lecture/discussion series at Park Road Baptist Church. It’s named for the late Rev. Charlie Milford, the church’s former pastor.

A provocative author and a veteran of several archaeological digs in the Holy Land, Tabor is scheduled to consider the impact the first-century Jesus has on 21st century Christians.

Tabor’s books include “Paul and Jesus: How the Apostle Transformed Christianity,” “The Jesus Discovery: The New Archaeological Find That Reveals the Birth of Christianity” and his controversial “The Jesus Dynasty: A New Historical Investigation of Jesus, His Royal Family, and the Birth of Christianity.”

Tabor will speak at 6:30 p.m. in the Community Center of the campus of Park Road Baptist, 3900 Park Road.

Sept. 28 – CNN political anchor Wolf Blitzer will moderate a community dialogue at Lenoir-Rhyne University on “Politics, Religion and LGBT Equality.”

Also on the panel: Mitchell Gold, a Hickory business executive, gay advocate and author of “Youth in Crisis: What Everyone Should Know About Growing Up Gay”; the Rev. T. Anthony Spearman, pastor of Clinton Tabernacle Church in Hickory; and the Rev. Jack McKinney, a Baptist minister and pastoral counselor.

The event will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the university’s P.E. Monroe Auditorium, 625 Seventh Ave. S.E. in Hickory.

Sept. 30 and Oct. 21 – Myers Park United Methodist Church will host a two-part interfaith dialogue.

On Sept. 30, Rabbi Murray Ezring of Temple Israel will join the Rev. James Howell of Myers Park United Methodist for a discussion about “Christianity and Judaism.”

On Oct. 21, Imam John Ederer of the Muslim American Society of Charlotte will join Howell to explore “Christianity and Islam.”

Both presentations will begin at 7 p.m. at Myers Park United Methodist, 1501 Queens Road.

-- Tim Funk