The Amy Lecture Series was established by the children of Dr. Bill and Flo Amy in honor of the ministry of their parents. Dr. Bill Amy was professor of World Religions at Otterbein College from 1962-1978 and 1993-2005. All Presentations are free and open to the public.
March 16-17, 2018
Community and Cosmos in a Violent World:
Ancient Roots of Christian Social Mission Today
Friday, March 16 - 4 p.m.
Otterbein University Roush Hall
Early Christ People in a Violent Empire
The Roman Empire was the only government the early Christ groups knew. This empire ruled the entire Mediterranean basin with massive and strategic violence. The more or less powerless early Christ groups developed ingenious resistance and articulate counter measures to their regular experience of slavery, crucifixion, military attacks, and merciless taxation. How can these strategies and values of early Christ groups inform today’s social mission?
Saturday, March 17
Church of the Master United Methodist
The Creative Early Communities of the Christ People (10 a.m. lecture)
Recent scholarship has produced very important new pictures of early Christ communities of the first and second centuries. These surprising groups were quite different than 21st century American Christianities. What do such early communities have to say to 21st century socially conscious persons inside and beyond churches?
Light lunch between Sat. lectures is available. To RSVP for the meal, please contact us by phone (614-882-2153) or email ( (link sends e-mail)). You are also welcome to walk the 2 blocks to historic Uptown Westerville to enjoy a local eatery.
The Peril and Promise of Imagining New World: Brightness, Torture, and Incomplete Healings from the Early Christ People (1:30 p.m. lecture)
With almost no social leverage, the early Christ people envisioned and cobbled together partial futures for their world. These incomplete visions did not include acceptance of tragedy or tangible plans to overthrow Rome’s violent empire. How might their contingent hope, dark humor, and fascination with difference contribute to social mission in today’s world?
Hal Taussig is a post-modern theologian, Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity, and United Methodist pastor. The most recent of his 14 published books include A New New Testament: A Bible for the 21st Century Combining Traditional and Newly Discovered Texts; A New Spiritual Home: Progressive Christianity at the Grass Roots; Re-Reading the Gospel of Mark Amidst Loss and Trauma; and In the Beginning Was the Meal: Social Experimentation and Early Christian Identity.
Taussig has recently retired from the Union Theological Seminary in New York, where he was Professor of New Testament and from the United Methodist pastorate. He is Co-Chair of the Westar Institute’s national Christianity Seminar and a member of Westar’s Board of Directors. He is also co-editor of Palgrave Macmillan’s book series, The Bible and Culture Series and a member of the national Society of Biblical Studies Seminar on Meals in the Greco-Roman World. He is Professor of Early Christianity at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, and on-going faculty at the national Holden Village conference center.
His mediography includes The New York Times, Time Magazine, The Daily Show, People Magazine, Newsweek Magazine, Live with Paula Zahn, National Public Radio, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC, the Bob Edwards Show on Sirius Radio, The History Channel, and the Washington Post.