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May 25, 1998

Upcoming humanities lecture focuses on the life and parables of Jesus

By Barbara McKenna

What was the world like in Jesus' time? What did his parables mean to the people who heard them? Lecturer in French Gildas Hamel will address these questions in his upcoming lecture, "Jesus: Stories from Galilee." His talk is the last of the 1997-98 Humanities Lecture Series and takes place from 7 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 11, at the Museum of Art and History at the McPherson Center, 705 Front St., Santa Cruz. The talk is free and open to the public. A reception follows.

In his talk, Hamel will address the life of Jesus and his teachings and how they fit into or challenged popular ideology at the time. As an example, Hamel describes the story of the prodigal son. "The story shows a father being extremely tolerant and loving of his sons against the social mores of the time. Normally the younger son would be kicked out immediately and perhaps even killed for the insult he delivered to his father."

Hamel's field of study is the social history of Hellenistic and Roman Palestine, a subject on which he is presently writing a book. Additionally, he teaches French and studies the history and literature of Brittany (in Breton). He is the author of Poverty and Charity in Roman Palestine (1990, UC Press).

The lecture is sponsored by the Humanities Division, the Museum of Art and History, and the UCSC Affiliates. For more information, call (408) 459-2696 or 429-1964.

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