We are bombarded daily with images of crisis – political, ethical, environmental and financial. Recently, we’ve been inundated with overwhelming photos and videos showing the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake, which destroyed the capital city of Port-au-Prince, killing thousands and setting the residents of Haiti adrift without the comfort and security of their homes.

A lecture hosted by the Religious Studies Program at WVU will examine how, in the midst of this type of humanitarian crisis, it is possible to remain hopeful.

Dr. Bruce C. Birch, one of our country’s leading Old Testament scholars, will speak on Tuesday, Feb. 2 at 7:00 p.m. in Ming Hsieh Hall, Room G21.

His talk, “Hope in the Midst of Exile,” will explore how the Babylonian exile, arguably the deepest crisis in the story of ancient Israel, produced some of the most eloquent voices of hope.

“In our own world, in this generation, perhaps there are clues in the ancient experience of exile that can help us to address the challenges of our time,” said Birch.

Bruce Birch is emeritus dean and Woodrow W. and Mildred B. Miller Emeritus Professor of Biblical Theology at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC.

A native of Kansas, Birch received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Southwestern College, a Bachelor of Divinity degree from the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Yale University.

Birch is an ordained minister in the Baltimore-Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church, and has been a delegate to general and jurisdictional conferences of that denomination as well as serving on its general board of church and society. He currently serves as chairperson for the Society of Biblical Literature.

A frequent contributor to journals and periodicals, Birch has authored numerous books including “What Does the Lord Require: The Old Testament Call to Social Witness,” “Singing the Lord’s Song: A study of Isaiah 40-55,” and “Let Justice Roll Down: The Old Testament, Ethics and Christian Life,” which is used as a textbook in WVU’s Biblical Ethics course. He is currently translating 1 and 2 Samuel for the “Common English Bible,” a new translation under preparation by Abingdon Press.



CONTACT: Jane Donovan, Program for Religious Studies