CORVALLIS - John Dominic Crossan, who is considered the top scholar on historical Jesus studies in the world, will deliver a free public lecture on Thursday, March 4, at Oregon State University.

Crossan's lecture, "Jesus and the Lost Years of Christianity," will begin at 7:30 p.m. in LaSells Stewart Center. It is sponsored by the Hundere Endowment for Religion and Culture at OSU, and the OSU Philosophy Department.

In his lecture, Crossan will describe the relationship between Jesus and earliest Christianity, and explore the vision of Jesus, his death and resurrection, and the first two decades of the early Christian movement.

Among his 18 books, Crossan has written four best sellers, including "Who Killed Jesus?" and "The Birth of Christianity." His books have been translated into 10 languages, and he has appeared frequently on television programs exploring the history of Jesus and early Christianity.

Crossan was born in Ireland and educated both there and in the United States. He conducted post-doctoral research at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome and the Ecole Biblique in Jerusalem. A member of the Servites, a Roman Catholic religious order, he joined the faculty of the Department of Religious Studies at DePaul University in 1969.

Like OSU professor Marcus Borg, Crossan is a member of The Jesus Seminar, and has co-chaired the controversial group of scholars, who are seeking to determine the authenticity of many of the sayings attributed to Jesus.

He also has chaired the Historical Jesus Section of the Society of Biblical Literature, and has received several awards, including honors for scholarly excellence from the American Academy of Religion.

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Marcus Borg, 503-246-8151