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Historian of religion Paula Fredriksen will focus on sin when she delivers the third annual David L. Dungan Memorial Lecture on Tuesday, February 19.

The event, hosted by the Department of Religious Studies, begins at 7:00 p.m. in the Alumni Memorial Building’s Cox Auditorium. It is free and open to the public.

Fredriksen, the William Goodwin Aurelio Chair Emerita of the Appreciation of Scripture at Boston University and distinguished visiting professor at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, will discuss the topic of her most recent book, Sin: The Early History of an Idea.

Going through the history of sin, Fredriksen will examine how ancient Christians invoked sin to account for a range of things, from the death of God’s son to the politics of the empire that eventually worshiped him. The lecture will survey the first four centuries in which Christian ideas about sin emerged, including the significant shift from sin as something one does to sin as a condition into which one is born.

“The changing ways in which early Christian leaders talked about sin continues to have a significant impact on how we understand ourselves and our world. Fredriksen’s work examines these early Christian conversations in their Roman context, while raising interesting questions about their modern implications,” said Tina Shepardson, associate professor of religious studies.

In addition to the well-received Sin: The Early History of an Idea, Fredriksen has written From Jesus to Christ: The Origins of the New Testament Images of Jesus, for which she won the 1988 Yale Press Governors’ Award for Best Book, and Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews: A Jewish Life and the Emergence of Christianity, for which she won a National Jewish Book Award.

The David L. Dungan Memorial Lecture honors former UT professor David Laird Dungan, who regularly shared his scholarship on biblical interpretation, as well as on religious issues in public life, in the wider community. By bringing in leading scholars, the Department of Religious Studies seeks to communicate the importance of the academic study of religion in our globalizing world.

C O N T A C T :

Rosalind Hackett (865-974-6980,