SPEECHES

1. Empowered Women from Jesus to Mount Ségur.

Would you believe that the Gospel of Mary [Magdalene] was discovered in 1896, but was not published until 1955? There are a lot of excuses but I suspect that Mary's role in that gospel—a leader among the apostles—had something to do with all the tardiness. In this presentation, I trace the story of empowered women down the ages, asking how they could have reappeared in the sexist ninth century unless there were underground movements that maintained their equality.

2. The Centurion's Boy.

Did Jesus bless a gay relationship? Analysis of the Greek words reveals new insights into the relationship between the Centurion and his boy.

3. Eco-communion in the Early Church and Today.

The meal Jesus shared with his disciples on the night before he was crucified was a meal of thanksgiving—that's what the word “Eucharist” means. When Jesus early followers celebrated the Eucharist, it was also a meal of thanksgiving for the gifts of the earth. We have an example in the Didache, a first century manual of instruction. Unfortunately that aspect of the rite has been lost. My congregation at Bathurst Street United Church has returned to that focus. In this time of dire threat to our environment, the whole Church needs to do likewise.

4. Jesus, Peter, Mohamed: Goodwill between Religions.

This lecture examines three key figures in Christianity and Islam: Jesus, Peter, Muhammad. Jesus' parable of the Good Samaritan leads off this lecture since, in Jesus’ time, the Jews despised the Samaritans. They had the “wrong religion” and violence often erupted between the two groups. Yet Jesus shocked the scribe who asked who was the neighbor he should love by giving him the example of a hated Samaritan. I go on to show how well Peter understood what Jesus meant by examples in both the Book of Acts and in later apocryphal literature. Not to be outdone, Muhammad told his followers that although God could have made us one congregation he did not; therefore they should compete in goodness. This opens up all sorts of pathways for discussion between religions.

5. The Eternal Return: my Quest for Healing.

6. Was Salome Jesus' Wife?

A recently discovered Gnostic document has has shocked the world. It contains this line: "...Jesus said to them, 'My wife...'". But there is a passage in the Gospel of Thomas, almost always mistranslated or obscured, which implies that a woman virtually no one knows about, Salome (the New Testament mentions her only once), was Jesus' wife. I examine the facts in this speech.

7. Mary Magdalene: Apostle, Wife or Whore?

Here I take a merry romp through all the tom-foolery that has accumulated around poor Mary Magdalene in the last two millennia.

8. A Just World: the Legacy of the Jewish Followers of Jesus. [In development]