From 1998 to 2005, Christ Community's Center for Religion & Life hosted outstanding contemporary theologians, scholars, authors and speakers for a weekend of lectures and discussions meant to challenge our way of thinking and seeing, encouraging dialogue and building bridges of understanding and peace. The mission of the Center stated that "in a time of both interconnectedness and conflict, we are participants in a journey of questioning and questing, seeking to clarify the meaning and purpose of life. The intent of the Center’s educational programming, services, and publications is to welcome and encourage all who would join us in this quest to live life with meaning, awareness, and joy, in awe of the mystery before us, that is called God, and the hope of living with grace and compassion in the human community." Here are current links to the Web sites of some of the scholars who brought so much joy and deep thought to Christ Community.
Marcus J. Borg is an American New Testament scholar, theologian and author. He is a fellow of the Jesus Seminar and was formerly Hundere Distinguished Professor of Religion and Culture at Oregon State.
John Dominic Crossan is an Irish-American New Testament scholar, historian of early Christianity, and former Catholic priest who has produced both scholarly and popular works.
Walter Wink was an American biblical scholar, theologian, and activist who was an important figure in Progressive Christianity. Wink spent much of his career teaching at Auburn Theological Seminary in New York City.
Amy-Jill Levine is University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of New Testament Studies at Vanderbilt University Divinity School, Department of Religious Studies, and Graduate Department of Religion.
Gary Dorrien is Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary and Professor of Religion at Columbia University.
Huston Cummings Smith is a religious studies scholar in the United States. His book The World's Religions has sold over two million copies and remains a popular introduction to comparative religion.
John Shelby "Jack" Spong is a retired bishop of the Episcopal Church. From 1979 to 2000 he was Bishop of Newark. He is a Protestant liberal Christian theologian, religion commentator and author.
Karen Armstrong, a former Roman Catholic nun and a world-renowned religious scholar – 2008 TED Talk, My wish: The Charter for Compassion.
Kurt Struckmeyer was captivated by the world-shattering ideas of the Sermon on the Mount in his teens and has been a lifelong student and teacher of the historical Jesus and the reign of God.
Rob Bell, author, pastor and founder of Mars Hill Bible Church