Carmichael-Walling Lectures: “Strange Religion”

The 35th annual Carmichael-Walling Lectures will be presented Thursday, Nov. 4, by Abilene Christian University’s Center for the Study of Ancient Religious Texts.
Dr. Nijay Gupta of Northern Seminary will speak on the theme, “Strange Religion: How the First Christians Were Weird, Dangerous and Attractive.” 
People of Faith: Why the First Christians Called Themselves “Believers” (4 p.m.)  Even though ancient people were “religious,” they didn’t typically dwell on the language of “faith” or “belief.” But the first Christians were seemingly obsessed with belief language. Why is that? We will explore why the people of Jesus called themselves “believers” and how that shaped their understanding of God and God’s world. 
Cult Without Smoke and Blood: The Strange Worship of the Early Christians (7 p.m.)  All religions ancient and modern value worship and devotion to the divine. The early Christians dared to express their devotion without two key ingredients: the smoke and blood of sacrifice. Why were these things absent? Since they approached worship differently, what shaped their strange practices of devotion?
Lectures are free, open to the public and will take place in Hart Auditorium in the Onstead-Packer Biblical Studies Building on ACU’s campus in Abilene, Texas. Face masks and social distancing are required. For mandatory guidelines, see ACU’s COVID information pages.
For more information or to learn how to stream the lectures online, contact
Dr. Gupta teaches New Testament courses at Northern Seminary in Illinois. He is the author of several important works, including “Paul and the Language of Faith: A Beginner’s Guide to New Testament Studies” and “The State of New Testament Studies.”He also serves as editor-in-chief of the Bulletin for Biblical Research, co-editor with Scot McKnight of the series, ”The Bible in God’s World” and as a member of the editorial board of both Ex Auditu and of the Biblical Interpretation 

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