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The separation of Jesus and Judaism is bad for Christian theology, bad for interfaith relations and bad for biblical understanding. That is the premise of the 2006 Aquinas Lecture, presented by Amy-Jill Levine, Ph.D., a theology professor at Vanderbilt University.

The 24th annual lecture is 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 9, in the ballroom of St. Francis Xavier “College” Church, Grand Avenue and Lindell Boulevard. Admission is free and open to the public. At 5 p.m., Aquinas Institute will hold an evening prayer service at College Church, which also is open to the public.

Levine, in “Jesus and Judaism: The Connection Matters,” will address the increasing separation between Jesus and Judaism in popular culture and biblical studies, what is behind the separation, how it can be stopped, and why it is important for Christians and Jews today.

Levine is director of the Carpenter Program in Religion, Gender and Sexuality and the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of New Testament Studies at Vanderbilt.
The Aquinas Lecture traditionally focuses on a contemporary theological question and often applies the thinking of St. Thomas Aquinas, a Dominican and a great theologian, to a 21st-century issue.

Aquinas Institute, which is sponsored by the Dominican order, prepares priesthood candidates for ordination. Seminarians study alongside vowed religious women and laypeople who want to pursue careers in the Catholic Church or simply better understand their faith tradition.

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