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2021 Grawemeyer Lecture
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and the University of Louisville proudly present the 2021 Grawemeyer Religion Award Lecture on Tuesday, April 13, from 7 to 9 p.m. (EST).

This year's Grawemeyer Religion Award recipient, Stephen J. Patterson, will present "You are the Children of God: Christianity's First Creed." His lecture is based on his 2021 Grawemeyer Award-winning book, "The Forgotten Creed: Christianity's Original Struggle against Bigotry, Slavery and Sexism" (Oxford University Press, 2018).

In his book, Patterson explains that early Christianity’s first creed, which was quoted in Paul’s letter to the Galatians (3:26-28), claims that we are all God’s children. The original baptismal creed, which Paul did not write, but quoted and adapted, is:

For you are all children of God in the Spirit.
There is no Jew or Greek;
There is no slave or free;
There is no male or female.
For you are all one in the Spirit.

In "The Forgotten Creed" Patterson unpacks this creed in the context of the Greco-Roman world when Jesus was still fresh in the memory of those who knew him. Patterson, the George H. Atkinson Professor of Religious and Ethical Studies at Willamette University, claims that the first followers of Jesus were taking on race, class, and gender in the midst of conflicts between Greeks and Jews, the slave economy, and the gender dynamics of the time.

The Grawemeyer Award in Religion is made possible by the creative generosity of the late H. Charles Grawemeyer. Louisville Seminary, jointly with the University of Louisville, awards the $100,000 prize to honor and publicize creative and significant insights into the relationship between human beings and the divine. The award also recognizes ways in which this relationship may inspire or empower human beings to attain wholeness, integrity, or meaning, either individually or in community.

Apr 13, 2021 07:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Stephen J. Patterson
George H. Atkinson Professor of Religious and Ethical Studies @Willamette University
A scholar, teacher, and writer, Patterson is the George H. Atkinson endowed chair in Religious and Ethical Studies at Willamette University, where he teaches courses on the history of religion. He writes and lectures widely on the hidden histories of earliest Christianity, especially the lost gospels, Q and the Gospel of Thomas. Patterson holds graduate degrees from Harvard and Claremont, and he was a Fulbright Fellow in Germany. In nine books and more than seventy-five articles, essays and reviews, he has explored the origins of Christianity, especially through texts often overlooked because they are not in the Bible. For more than 20 years Patterson was professor of New Testament at Eden Seminary in St. Louis. He was also a leading figure in the Jesus Seminar and has appeared on many documentaries in connection with his work on the Gospel of Thomas, Q, and the quest for the historical Jesus.