The 52nd Annual Fall Academy of Religion Lecture Series: What is Scripture? at First Pres Wooster

September 16, 2021

The 52nd Annual Fall Academy of Religion Lecture Series: What is Scripture?

A cross-cultural examination of religious texts, featuring College of Wooster Faculty
All lectures begin at 7:30pm on Wednesdays and will be in Bruch Hall at First Presbyterian Church, 621 College Avenue, Wooster, Ohio.
Seating in Bruch Hall will allow for social distancing. The Advisory Committee requests that all attendees wear masks.

September 15: Jeremy Rapport, “What is Scripture?”

In the first lecture in the series, Dr. Rapport will look at the concept of scripture, how it is defined and understood, as well as some of the issues with using scripture as a universal concept. This lecture will also briefly overview major scriptural traditions.

September 22: Jeremy Rapport, “America’s Alternative Bibles”

Creativity is a hallmark of religious life, especially in the United States. In this lecture, Dr. Rapport examines several “new scriptures” created by alternative religious communities in the United States. He argues that the process of creating new scriptures, as illustrated in works such as the Book of Mormon, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, and the Urantia Book, illustrates how American alternative religions developed around critical Protestant notions about the role of texts in religious life.

September 29: Bhakti Mamtora, “Hindu Scriptures in Practice”

Dr. Mamtora addresses several questions: (1) What are the key scriptures in the Hindu traditions? (2) What are some of the teachings found in those key scriptures? (3) How do Hindu scriptures relate to Hindu practices? In doing so, Dr. Mamtora introduces key scriptures in the Hindu traditions and how they shape everyday practices among Hindus in the United States.

October 6: Chan Sok Park, “Early Christian Apocrypha”

Dr. Park describes early Christian apocrypha: what are they, why they didn't make into the Bible, why they still matter, what differences they would make if read along with the New Testament canon. The lecture includes examination of a few selected texts.

October 13: Mark Graham, “Scriptures and Authoritative Texts in Buddhist Traditions”

Dr. Graham introduces the wide range of canons, collections, and varieties of scriptures and authoritative texts in Buddhist traditions and addresses the question of what constitutes an authoritative text in Buddhist traditions of practice.

October 20: Joan Friedman, "Why Jews Cannot Be Biblical Literalists"

Dr. Friedman explains the classic Jewish view that “Torah” includes both the written text (the Pentateuch) and a body interpretation called “Oral Torah.” Thus, like the US Constitution, the Torah remains a living document, allowing – indeed, requiring – reinterpretation and change over time.


Download a printable informational pamphlet here: Academy of Religion Brochure

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