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YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. — The annual Hamilton Lecture at Young Harris College will feature Dr. Amy-Jill Levine. Her presentation, which is titled “Of Pearls and Prodigals: Hearing Jesus’ Parables in His World and Ours,” will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 29 at 6 p.m. in the Rollins Campus Center’s Hatcher Dining Room. The campus is located at 1 College St., Young Harris, Georgia. This event is part of YHC’s academic lecture series and is free and open to the public.

Dr. Levine said, “Parables today have lost their punch. They have become children’s stories or simple platitudes. First-century Jews, including Jesus, knew that parables were neither simple nor primarily for children. They were designed to challenge, to provoke and to engage the mind as well as the heart. Jesus told parables to fellow Jews. Recovering that original setting corrects their frequent anti-Jewish interpretations, provides a grounding for better Jewish-Christian relations, and offers new insight into both ancient and our own social relations.”

Dr. Levine is a professor of New Testament and Jewish studies at Vanderbilt University. She teaches in the Divinity School and the College of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Levine is also an affiliated professor for the Woolf Institute Centre for Jewish-Christian Relations in Cambridge, U.K. In Spring 2019, she was the first Jew to teach New Testament at Rome’s Pontifical Biblical Institute.

Dr. Levine’s books include “The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus,” “Short Stories by Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi” and “The Gospel of Luke.” Her children’s books include “Who Counts? 100 Sheep, 10 Coins and 2 Sons,” “The Marvelous Mustard Seed” and “Who Is My Neighbor?” She edited “The Jewish Annotated New Testament.” She has given more than 500 lectures on the Bible, Christian-Jewish relations, and religion, gender and sexuality across the globe.

“Academic lectures like the Hamilton Lecture are among our few opportunities for campus and community-wide conversations that aren’t graded!” said Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies Dr. Nathan Eric Dickman. “Professor Levine’s topic is timely and relevant to us all. A lot of people claim to be faithful followers of Jesus, yet we see they often disagree with one another in extreme ways. Professor Levine helps navigate such extremes by placing Jesus’ teachings in historical context. What did Jesus teach his followers, and how would people in first century Palestine understand his teachings? This is a chance to get a unique and informed perspective and to join the conversation. Don’t miss it!”

The Hamilton Lecture brings outstanding religious spokespersons to YHC to discuss faith-based topics. It was established by Mr. and Mrs. Kirby Strain, along with other members of their family, to honor Mrs. Strain’s parents, Rev. George Wharton Hamilton and Naomi Barton Hamilton. Rev. Hamilton was a 1907 graduate of YHC who served on the College’s faculty and was active as a minister in the North Georgia Conference for 37 years.

For more information about this event, contact Dr. Dickman at (706) 379-5122 or [email protected].

About Young Harris College

Young Harris College is a private baccalaureate and master’s degree-granting institution located in the beautiful mountains of North Georgia. Founded in 1886 and historically affiliated with The United Methodist Church, Young Harris College educates, inspires and empowers students through an education that purposefully integrates the liberal arts and professional studies. The College has four academic divisions: Fine Arts; Humanities; Mathematics, Science and Technology; and Professional Studies. More than 1,400 students are enrolled in its residential and Early College programs. The College is an active member of the NCAA Division II and remains a fierce competitor in the prestigious Peach Belt Conference. For more information, visit