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Faculty Award Lecture Series with Dr. Stephen Riley

October 29, 2018

On Thursday, November 8 at 7:30 p.m., Northwest Nazarene University will be hosting the Twenty-Fourth Faculty Award Lecture. The event will be held on NNU’s campus in the Brandt Center Grand Lobby.

In this year's Faculty Award Lecture, Dr. Stephen Riley, Associate Professor of Old Testament, will explore the ways in which three films have represented the story of Samson in the Old Testament book of Judges and the implications of their interpretations for our life together. His lecture is entitled, The Reel Samson: How Our Screenings of the Biblical Icon Affect Our Life Together.

“I think the value of this lecture for the NNU community is that it will engage our value of truth seeking by engaging in the pursuit of a well informed understanding of how we are always interpreting scripture and seeking to rightly understand God’s purposes for our community,” explained Dr. Riley. “I also think it will be a creative look at contemporary media and its engagement with scripture.”

Dr. Riley will be expanding on his thesis for this lecture: In movies, Samson is often portrayed as a “Hebrew Hercules,” the good guy with a weakness for women. However, in the biblical text, Samson is not a hero but rather the first in a string of anti-heros who miss the mark, fail in their responsibility, and lead to the downfall of Israel. Our reading of their stories should not valorize them, but lead to repentance, humility, and transformation.

This event is free and open to the public and there will be a reception to follow in the Brandt Center Lobby.

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