Montana State University

Lecture set Oct. 25 on 'The Symbols and Scriptures of Jesus and Buddha'

October 6, 2011

Timothy Beal is an author and professor at Case Western Reserve University who specializes in contemporary religion. He will speak with colleague William Deal, who specializes in Buddhist history, at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, in the Hager Auditorium of the Museum of the Rockies.   High-Res Available

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Between them, Timothy Beal and William Deal, cover a wide spectrum of religious studies. Both professors of religious studies at Case Western Reserve University, which is located in Cleveland, Ohio. Beal is an expert on contemporary religion and Deal a specialist in Buddhist history. Together, the duo will speak on "Iconic Scriptures in Buddhism and Christianity, from the Lotus Sutra to the King James Bible: A Cross-Cultural, Cross-Religious Dialogue" at a free lecture set for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, in the Hager Auditorium of the Museum of the Rockies.

"These are cutting edge scholars of religion and culture," said Lynda Sexson, MSU religious studies professor in the Department of History and Philosophy. "Everyone will be delighted by their playfulness, accessibility and scholarly depth."

Beal is the Florence Harkness Professor of Religion at Case Western. A writer and scholar, he has published 13 books and many scholarly articles on the cultural history of the Bible, religion and popular culture ranging from titles such as his newest book, "The Rise and Fall of the Bible: The Unexpected History of an Accidental Book" to "Mel Gibson's Bible: Religion, Popular Culture and the Passion of the Christ," and "God in the Fray." He and Beal are the co-authors of the text, "Theory for Religious Studies."

Beal is the editor-in-chief of "The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and the Arts." He has also published essays on religion and American culture in the New York Times, the Chronicle of Higher Education, The Washington Post and The Huffington Post, among others. He has been featured on national radio shows including NPRs "All Things Considered."

Beal's portion of the lecture will be on "Will the King James Bible Go the Way of All Flesh?"

Deal is the Severance Professor of the History of Religion in the Department of Religious Studies at Case Western Reserve University and holds a secondary appointment as Professor of Cognitive Science in the university's Department of Cognitive Science. He is past Chair of the Department of Religious Studies and served for several years as director of CWRU's Asian Studies Program. He was the founding director of the Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence. His scholarship focuses on the academic study of religion, religion and ethics and Japanese Buddhism.

Deal will speak about "Ritual Characters, Iconicities of the Lotus Sutra in 11th Century Japanese Buddhism."

The lecture is free, however tickets are needed for admission. To secure a seat, pick up free admission tickets for the event at the Department of History and Philosophy in Wilson Hall, or call 994-4395.

Beal and Deal also will present informally in MSU religious studies classes at 11 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. Oct. 25 in Wilson Hall. Guests are welcome.
Beal and Deal's lectures are sponsored by Humanities Montana and the MSU Department of History and Philosophy.

Lynda Sexson (406) 994-994-5200,