The following is from the Jan. 5, 2008, edition of The Dallas Morning News. This story is about a lecture series presented by SMU Professor Mark Chancey, chair of the Department of Religious Studies, during the month of January. You may listen to or download the lectures, courtesy of Temple Emanu-El.

Professor has faith in religious tolerance

Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News

Mark Chancey
Listen to or download the lectures:
 • Jan. 8 - What was new about the New
   Testament? - Listen or download to iPod
 • Jan. 15 - Jesus: A Crucified Messiah?
   Listen or download to iPod
 • Jan. 22 - Paul: Missionary to the Gentiles
   Listen or download to iPod
 • Jan. 29 - The New Testament and Judaism
   Listen or download to iPod
(These audio files are provided courtesy of Temple Emanu-El. They are large files and may take a few minutes to download.)

Typically, Mark Chancey's role is helping Christian audiences better understand Judaism. But for four Tuesdays in January, the SMU associate professor will be doing the opposite: explaining the New Testament to a primarily Jewish audience.

Dr. Chancey is the featured speaker for Temple Emanu-El's annual adult education course, this year titled "The New Testament: First Century Jews, First Century Christians." The course begins Tuesday.

"We saw this as an opportunity to explore the common roots of Judaism and Christianity and for our members to gain a better understanding of what our neighbors believe," said Rachelle Weiss Crane, chairwoman of adult education for Temple Emanu-El, a Reform congregation in North Dallas.

"We forget how thoroughly Jewish Jesus was and how similar Jesus was to his Jewish contemporaries," Dr. Chancey said. "I hope they see the Jewishness of early Christianity."

The lecture series represents an auspicious chance for Dr. Chancey to practice what he preaches as he steps into his new role as incoming chairman of SMU's religious studies department. Interfaith understanding drives his passion for the subject, he says, and enrollment in religious studies courses is high, as students' interest in various faiths continues to grow, too.

"There continues to be a need for people of different faiths to know and understand each other, particularly in our current political environment," Dr. Chancey said.

Read the full story.

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