Category Archives: Religious Studies

Shroud of Turin Expert to Speak at ECU

Shroud of Turin expert Russ Breault will speak at East Carolina University at 8 p.m. April 11 in Hendrix Theatre. The event is free and open to the public.

Russ Breault will speak at ECU April 11 about the mysteries surrounding the famous Shroud of Turin. Contributed photos (c)1978 Barrie M. Schwortz Collection, STERA, Inc.

Breault will present The Shroud Encounter, a CSI-style, multi-media presentation that will examine the mysteries, science and controversy surrounding the world’s most analyzed artifact.  Breault has been researching and lecturing on the shroud for 25 years.

He has been featured in several national documentaries including “Mysteries of the Ancient World” on CBS and on the Discovery Channel, Learning Channel and National Geographic. Most recently, he appeared in the Emmy-nominated, “The Real Face of Jesus,” a two-hour documentary on The History Channel.

National Geographic has called the shroud, “One of the most perplexing enigmas of modern times.” A team of 40 scientists in 1981 concluded it was not the work of an artist. The blood on the shroud is AB positive with human DNA. No attempt at replicating the image has been successful.  A carbon 14 dating done in 1988 dating the shroud just over 600 years old was discarded when in 2005 textile scientists discovered the carbon sample was from a repaired corner and not from the original cloth.

For additional information, visit For more on the ECU visit, contact Rev. Scott Wilkinson, Wesley Foundation of Greenville, at (252) 916-6808 or

The Shroud of Turin

Duke professor to deliver Jarvis Lecture

Duke University theology and black church studies professor Dr. J. Kameron Carter will speak at East Carolina University at 7 p.m. March 13 in Wright Auditorium.


Carter will discuss “Religion and the post-racial condition,” in the final presentation of the 2011-12 Voyages of Discovery Lecture Series, sponsored by the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences.

Carter’s research addresses Christian thought, particularly the person and work of Jesus Christ, and theological anthropology, the human being in Christian perspective. He is writing a book that examines ideological uses of Jesus in the modern invention of the human, or as he refers to the topic, “the cultural Jesus.” His work addresses the identity of Jesus in light of shifting global realities in the 21st century.

The Jarvis Lecture is co-sponsored by the ECU Religious Studies Program and Jarvis Memorial United Methodist Church. Lecturers selected by the ECU program do not necessarily reflect the theology of the Methodist church.

Complimentary tickets are available through the ECU Central Ticket Office at 252-328-4788 or 1-800-ECU-ARTS. Tickets also will be available at the door. Individuals requesting accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should call 252-737-1016 (voice/TTY) at least 48 hours prior to the event.

The Voyages of Discovery Lecture series is supported through contributions from Harriot College’s Dean’s Advancement Council, university organizations, and individual supporters. To make a contribution, or for additional information, contact the director of the series Dr. John A. Tucker at 252-328-1028 or, or visit the series’ web site at

Community programs planned by ECU Religious Studies

A number of programs presented by the ECU Department of Religious Studies faculty are scheduled for this fall, including:

  • By Lee Johnson, ECU assistant professor of religious studies, “The Historical Jesus,” Sept. 18 and 25 from 9:30 to 10:15 a.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 401 East Fourth St. The Sept. 18 presentation will explore the parallels and differences in gospel presentations of Jesus’ life, teachings and activities. The Sept. 25 presentation will discuss the scholarly quests to discover Jesus, along with the work of the Jesus Seminar.
  • By Calvin Mercer, Lifetime Learning Program, “Living for 500 Years (or longer), 1 to 3 p.m., Sept. 13 at the Willis Building. Mercer will examine research programs that experts say will extend healthy human life, as well as the economic, social, political, ethical and religious implications of such programs. The talk is partially based on a book Mercer co-authored with Derek Maher, “Religion and the Implications of Radical Life Extension.”
  • By Calvin Mercer, a two-part series, “Humor in the Bible” or “Why Jesus Never had Ulcers,” 9:15 a.m. to 10 a.m., Sept. 18 and 25 at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church.
  • By Mary Wangila, “Indigenous Religions – Any Lessons?” from 9:30 to 10:15 a.m. at St. Pauls’ Episcopal Church.
  • By Calvin Mercer, “How We Got the Bible,” from 9:30 to 10:15 a.m.  Oct. 23, 30 and Nov. 6 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.

For additional information, contact Calvin Mercer, ECU Department of Religious Studies at

Interfaith service planned for Sept. 11

A city-wide interfaith service “Interfaith prayers for peace and healing on the 10th anniversary of 9/11” will be held at 5 p.m. Sept. 11 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.

The Rev. Carolyn Fleming Sawyer, director of Pastoral Services at Pitt County Memorial Hospital, will offer a meditation and members of the interfaith community will offer prayers for peace and healing in their respective traditions. The order of Choral Evensong, a service unique to the Anglican tradition, will be led by St. Paul’s Parish Choir.

The event is open to all congregations and citizens of Greenville. A reception will follow in the Parish Hall. A pizza and volleyball gather will be held for all youth.

St. Paul’s is located at 401 East Fourth St., with parking available next door to University Towers on Third St.

For additional information, contact Calvin Mercer, ECU Department of Religious Studies at