WILSON, N.C. – Barton College is pleased to welcome internationally renowned author Dr. Marcus Borg as the featured speaker for the 2008 Allan R. Sharp Religion in Life Series set for Monday, Nov. 17.The Allan R. Sharp Religion in Life Series focuses on topics of practical Christian significance for the general public relating to contemporary issues. Established in 1991 upon the retirement of Dr. Allan R. Sharp, a professor and chair of the Department of Religion and Philosophy, this lecture series brings distinguished performers and speakers to the Barton campus each fall semester. This program is sponsored by the Barton College Religious Studies Honor Society, area churches, and friends and alumni of Barton College.

Because of Dr. Borg’s popularity, this fall’s Allan R. Sharp Religion in Life Series includes several events for members of the campus and surrounding communities. The day’s activities begin with an afternoon lecture by Dr. Borg, designed for clergy and students, titled “Telling the Story of Jesus Today.” The event will be held in Howard Chapel from 3:30 p.m. until 5 p.m. at no charge. Other events open to the public include a wine and cheese reception and book signing for Dr. Borg at 5:15 p.m. in the Barton Art Galleries followed by dinner at 6:15 p.m. in Hardy Alumni Hall. The cost for the reception and dinner is $25 per person. The Allan R. Sharp Religion in Life evening lecture by Dr. Borg, is titled “What Christianity Is All About: Loving God And Changing The World.” It will be held in Hardy Alumni Hall at 7:30 p.m. There will be no charge for the evening lecture.

All scheduled events (afternoon and evening) require reservations, but there is no charge for the lectures. To make reservations, please contact Frances Belcher in the Office of Institutional Advancement at 252-399-6357 or email: fbelcher@barton.edu. Those interested may also visit www.barton.edu/religion_series/ to make reservations online. The deadline for making reservations is Monday, Nov. 10.

The Hundere Chair in Religion and Culture in the Philosophy Department at Oregon State University, Dr. Borg is internationally known in both academic and church circles as a biblical and Jesus scholar, Dr. Borg is the author of 16 books, including “Jesus: A New Vision” (1987) and the best-seller “Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time” (1994), “The God We Never Knew” (1997), “The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions” (1999), “Reading the Bible Again for the First Time” (2001), and “The Heart of Christianity” (2003), both best-sellers. His newest books include “Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary” (2006), and two books co-authored with John Dominic Crossan, “The Last Week” (2006) and “The First Christmas” (2007).

In reference to Dr. Borg’s published works, celebrated author Frederick Beuchner said, “Writing with a simplicity that never becomes simplistic, Borg manages to convey the essence of Christianity in a way that does justice to those who do not share his views and will greatly enrich the understanding of those who do.”

Described by “The New York Times” as “a leading figure in his generation of Jesus scholars,” Dr. Borg has appeared on NBC’s “Today Show” and “Dateline,” PBS’s “Newshour,” ABC’s “Evening News” and “Prime Time” with Peter Jennings, NPR’s “Fresh Air” with Terry Gross, and several National Geographic programs. A Fellow of the Jesus Seminar, Dr. Borg has been national chair of the Historical Jesus Section of the Society of Biblical Literature and co-chair of its International New Testament Program Committee, and is past president of the Anglican Association of Biblical Scholars and a regular columnist for “Beliefnet.” His work has been translated into nine languages: German, Dutch, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and French. Dr. Borg earned his doctoral degree from Oxford University, and he has lectured widely overseas (England, Scotland, Austria, Germany, Belgium, Hungary, Israel, and South Africa) and in North America, including the Chautauqua and Smithsonian Institutions.

In addition to the 16 books he has authored, Dr. Borg is the editor or co-editor of “The Lost Gospel Q” (1996), “Jesus and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings” (1997), and “God at 2000,” co-edited with Ross Mackenzie (2000). “Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time” (1994) is the single best-selling book by a contemporary Jesus scholar. “The God We Never Knew” was named “one of the ten best books in religion in 1997″ by “Publishers Weekly.”

“Reading the Bible Again for the First Time” (2001) has made the “Publishers Weekly” ten best selling books in religion. “The Heart of Christianity” (Harper San Francisco, 2003) has been a group study book in hundreds of churches. “The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions,” which Dr. Borg co-authored with N. Thomas Wright, a well-known British New Testament scholar from the conservative side of the spectrum, won the “Best General Interest Book of 1999″ award from the Association of Theological Booksellers.

“Borg is one of the very few New Testament scholars of our age whose learning is so lucid that it takes the Bible back from the specialists and makes it available in all its complexity and splendor to the general reader: nothing short of a blessing, even a miracle!” said Peter Gomes, author of “The Good Book.” “If Marcus Borg did not exist, we would have to invent him for we have no better guide to the recovery of an authentic Christian faith for these difficult times than this articulate and prolific public theologian.”

For additional information about Dr. Borg, please contact Dr. Rod Werline, Marie and Leman Barnhill Endowed Chair in Religious Studies at Barton College, at 252-399-6447 or email: rawerline@barton.edu.

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Questions? Please contact Kathy Daughety, director of public relations, at 252-399-6529 or email: kdaughety@barton.edu