The Stephen and Ruth Dill Lecture Series Presents

Dr. Amy-Jill Levine

Thursday, August 24, 2023


Click here to register for childcare for 4 & under.

7:00 PM – Lecture in Moore Hall 


“Jesus in His Jewish Context:

piety, prayer, parables, politics”

About Dr. Amy-Jill Levine

Internationally Renowned Scholar, Author, and Teacher

Dr. Amy-Jill Levine is the Rabbi Stanley M. Kessler Distinguished Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies at Hartford International University for Religion and Peace.  She is also the University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies Emerita and Mary Jane Werthan Professor of Jewish Studies Emerita at Vanderbilt University.

Raised in Massachusetts, Professor Levine holds a B.A. from Smith College and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Duke University.  She has been awarded grants from the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Council of Learned Societies. In addition to receiving three audiences with Pope Francis, in Spring 2019 she was the first Jew to teach New Testament at Rome’s Pontifical Biblical Institute. In 2021, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In December of last year she received the Council of Christians and Jews Bridge Award 2022 in London, UK.

Just this June she was named the 2023 recipient of the Hubert Walter Award for Reconciliation and Interfaith Cooperation from the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby. This award recognizes those who have made an outstanding contribution in the areas of reconciliation and interfaith cooperation. Archbishop Welby said in his release, “Dr. Levine is a remarkable Jewish scholar of the New Testament. Her open, generous, and witty teaching style has gained her a hearing and influence across Christian traditions.” Her reputation through the years has led to her being in demand as a lecturer across the globe.

Her books include The Difficult Words of Jesus: A Beginner’s Guide to His Most Perplexing TeachingsThe Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish JesusShort Stories by Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial RabbiThe Meaning of the Bible: What the Jewish Scriptures and the Christian Old Testament Can Teach Us (with Douglas Knight); and The Gospel of Luke (with Ben Witherington III, the first full-length biblical commentary co-authored by a Jew and an Evangelical). Recent books include The Bible With and Without Jesus (with Marc Z. Brettler) and The Pharisees (co-edited with Joseph Sievers), to which Pope Francis contributed an essay. With Marc Brettler, she co-edited The Jewish Annotated New Testament.

Along with several children’s books on biblical stories co-authored with Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, she has written six “beginner’s guides” to the Gospels.


Acclaim for Amy-Jill Levine

“Whether in the realm of Biblical Studies or Jewish-Christian Dialogue, it’s hard to think of a more important or respected scholar and teacher than AJ Levine. If ever there was a ‘rock star’ in this realm, Professor Levine is it.”

President Joel N. Lohr of Hartford International University 


“Every new book from Levine startles me with its brilliance and pluck.”

Barbara Brown Taylor, author of Learning to Walk in the Dark and 2022 Dill Lecturer


“Amy-Jill Levine always offers a new and different perspective on New Testament studies.  She brings her scholarship and understanding to the tough topics of Jesus’s life, and I’m thankful for her expertise.”  

Amazon reviewer


“Amy-Jill Levine models responsible biblical interpretation.…She shows how to contend with biblical texts that seem too hard for us.  As always, with wisdom and grace, she shows us a way through.”

Carolyn Osiek, Professor of New Testament Emerita, Brite Divinity School, Fort Worth, Texas

About the Dill Lecture Series

The Dill Lecture Series was established in 2013 by Dauphin Way United Methodist Church Foundation to honor Dr. Stephen Dill and his wife Ruth for their 40 years of service to the church and to the community. The Dill Lecture Committee mourns the loss of Dr. Stephen Dill in January 2022 and is grateful for his legacy.

The Lecture Series brings to Mobile esteemed speakers to offer their insights and inspiration to the Dauphin Way congregation and to the community at large.


Steve & Ruth Dill

Dill Lecture speakers have included:

2014 Thomas Cahill—American scholar and writer who is best known for his acclaimed Hinges of History series

2015 Dr. Walter Brueggemann—the preeminent contemporary scholar of the Old Testament

2016 Rachel Held Evans—best-selling author and nationally popular blogger

2017 Dr. Wayne Flynt—Auburn University professor emeritus and distinguished scholar of Southern history, politics, religion, and culture

2018 Jim Wallis—founder and editor-in-chief of Sojourners and renowned preacher and theologian

2019 Krista Tippett—creator and host of NPR programs Speaking of Faith and On Being

2021 Rev. Adam Hamilton—founder and senior pastor of the 25,000-member United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas

2021 Rev. Dr. Thomas G. Long—Bandy Professor of Preaching Emeritus at Candler School of Theology at Emory University

2022 Rev. Dr. Barbara Brown Taylor—Episcopal priest, teacher, speaker, theologian, and best-selling author

2022 Philip Yancey—best-selling contemporary Christian author

Dill Lecture Fund

If you would like to give to the Dill Lecture Fund, click here. Please select “Memorial” and note “Dill Lecture Fund”. We are grateful for your contribution. It will be used to continue the Dill Lecture legacy.