On this post I would like to announce a couple of unusual opportunities for you and me to meet face to face, and to let you know what speaking gigs I’ll be having in the future, as planned so far..

  • FIRST: I have decided to have a Blog Dinner at a nice restaurant in Durham NC (where I live) with any 3-5 members of the blog who want to come on Thursday December 7. I am keeping the numbers at this level to allow me a chance to talk to everyone there (too large a group and it’s … a large group).    It will be organized simply: I’ll book a table and everyone will meet me there.  Your only expenses are getting there and paying for your meal.  We would talk over the course of drinks and dinner about … anything you’re interested in!

Are you interested?   This will be strictly first come first served: the first five members to respond are *in*.  If there is more interest than that, I may schedule a second dinner after the holidays.  If fewer than three can do it, then again, we’ll schedule it for another time.

So zap me if you’d like to come (and are certain that you would be able to).  Don’t respond here on the blog: send a note to me by email at [email protected].

  • SECOND: On October 2-13, 2018 I will be going to Israel for a UNC General Alumni Tour to Israel, and giving lectures there.   There are a few spots open for people who want to go.  The link to the trip is: https://alumni.unc.edu/events/2018-israel-timeless-wonders/

    Israel is obviously an amazing place to visit.   The tour will start up in the Galilee, with time in Tel Aviv, Tiberias, and on a kibbutz; it ends in Jerusalem with visits to the Old City, the church of the Holy Sepulcher, Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, the Israel Museum (think Dead Sea Scrolls), and day trips including Qumran and Masada.   It should be pretty amazing.

    For this trip you don’t need to tell me if you are interested in going (though you are welcome to!).  I’m not organizing the trip myself – I’m just giving a few lectures for it.   (I’m not sure on what – probably the historical Jesus I suppose!)   All the info you need will be on the website given above.
    As you will see, you will need to pay a nominal fee to become a member of the UNC General Alumni Association.

  • THIRD: My upcoming speaking schedule.  I didn’t post my speaking schedule for the fall simply because I cut way back and haven’t been doing much by way of travel and talk.  It’s been great!  But in the spring I’m back in it, with my standard five speaking gigs during the term.

    In addition to these, I will be doing book readings for my new book The Triumph of Christianity: How a Forbidden Religion Swept the World – but these have not all yet been arranged.   The following is the speaking schedule as I know it so far.  I hope to see some of you at one or another of the events!

    January 25: Naples, Florida.  Naples United Church of Christ in.  (One evening lecture)

    February 2-3: UNC Chapel Hill, Program in the Humanities.  Four lectures, two Friday afternoon and two Saturday morning, on The Triumph of Christianity.

    February 10: Washington D.C., Smithsonian Institute,.  Four lectures, all day on Saturday, on the Triumph of Christianity.

    April 19:  Houston, TX, Rice University,.  Public lecture on Forgery and the Ancient World

    April 27-28.  Holyoke, MASS., United Congregational Church conference on “Awakenings.”  Two lectures:  “How Christianity Took Over the World: The Demise of Ancient Religion” and “From Persecution to Power.  The Church in the Age of Constantine.”