January 31, 2002
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—The distinguished New Testament scholar John Dominic Crossan, professor emeritus at DePaul University, will present a lecture titled “Method and Meaning in Historical Jesus Research,” on Thursday, Feb. 21, at 4:30 p.m. in Cole Assembly Room in Converse Hall at Amherst College. Crossan is the first lecturer in the college’s spring lecture series, “Rethinking Jesus: His Intellectual, Spiritual and Material World.”

John Dominic Crossan—born in Ireland and educated there, in the United States, in Rome and in Jerusalem—was a founding member of the Jesus Seminar in 1985. The Jesus Seminar is a group of scholars working to evaluate the historical significance of every shred of evidence about Jesus, trying to ascertain what Jesus actually said and did. Vist the Jesus Seminar's Website.

In the last 30 years Crossan has written 20 books on the historical Jesus and earliest Christianity. Four recent ones, The Historical Jesus: The Life of a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant (1991), Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography (1994), Who Killed Jesus: Exposing the Roots of Anti-Semitism in the Gospel Story of the Death of Jesus (1995), and The Birth of Christianity (1998) have been national religious bestsellers for a combined total of 22 months. His most recent book, Excavating Jesus: Beneath the Stones, Behind the Texts (2001), was written with archaeologist Jonathan L. Reed.

Crossan was a member of a ancient Roman Catholic religious order, the Servites, from 1950 to 1969 and an ordained priest from 1957 to 1969. He joined the faculty at DePaul University, Chicago, in 1969 and remained there until 1995, and is now a Professor Emeritus in its Department of Religious Studies.