God, Empire and Violence

John Dominic Crossan Lectures | 2017 October 20-21

Wesley-Knox United Church

91 Askin Street, London, ON  N6C 1E7  | 519.673.4803




Thank you for your interest in our 2017 John Dominic Crossan Lecture Weekend. We have tried to make this website as useful as possible. We hope you will find everything you need to know right on this page.

Just need to register? Please click here!

About John Dominic Crossan

John Dominic Crossan has served the faith as a Servite brother, a Roman Catholic priest, a university professor and a Jesus scholar. He is co-founder of the Jesus Seminar, the think tank of some 200 theologians that critically examined the words of Jesus recorded in the gospels. He is also author of some twenty highly respected books about Jesus, Paul and the early Christian movement. A colleague and close friend of Marcus Borg, they produced three books together. Currently, he is Professor Emeritus, dePaul University, Chicago. He travels and lectures widely throughout North America and beyond.

About the Lectures

Dom Crossan is an outstanding speaker. He is clear, compelling, and blessed with Irish wit, even fun to hear. His lectures often follow a pattern. He explains how history, archeology and anthropology have shaped his views. He notes that the titles that early Christians applied to Jesus—Divine, Son of God, God, Lord, Liberator, Redeemer, Saviour of the World and more—were exactly the same titles applied to Roman emperors of the day. Applying these titles to Jesus, Dom believes, was essentially a challenge to the Roman Empire. He also believes that the Roman Empire of the first century is the Global West (particularly America) of today, and that today’s Christians face the same choices that early Christians faced in the first century: Will it be a world of violence, force and oppression or a world of non-violence, justice and peace?

In this lecture series, Dom will place a special emphasis on the role of violence in the Bible and its implications for our understanding of the faith.

Weekend Schedule

Friday, October 20

7:30 pm:  Keynote Lecture 1 – Civilization and Imperialism

Saturday, October 21

9 am: Lecture 2 – The Bible and Power

10:30 am:  Lecture 3 – Jesus and God

Lunch break

1:30 pm:  Lecture 4 – Apocalypse and Violence


Sunday, October 22

9:30 am: Open question and answer session in the Wesley-Knox Chapel

10:30 am: Sunday morning worship. Dominic will offer the sermon. Music by the Wesley-Knox Senior Choir will include Paul Halley’s Freedom Trilogy with organ and timpani, and Barry Peters’ Celtic Prayer.


•   Friday keynote alone $15

•   Saturday lectures as a package $30

•   Full series as a package $40

•   Optional Saturday lunch $10

•   Freewill offering Sunday morning

Registration and Payment Options

There are three ways to register and forward payment.

•   Online registration using PayPal or credit card. For this option, please go here.

•   Mail-in registration using printable form available here and personal cheque payable to Wesley-Knox United Church.

•   At the church office or after Sunday service using cash or cheque.

A note about payment by credit card: We use a secure service offered by PayPal. You do not need a PayPal account to use this service. With this service, no one at Wesley-Knox will ever see your credit card information. PayPal will simply debit your credit card and deposit your payment into a Wesley-Knox account, and then delete your credit card information.

Whichever method you use, we will contact you after we have received your payment. (If you pay by cheque, we will contact you after your cheque has been cleared.) Volunteers will then create nametags for you. These nametags will be waiting for you when you arrive at Wesley-Knox and will serve as tickets for the lectures.

Walk-ins are always welcome. Write-in name tags will be available at the door.

Saturday Lunch Options

A Saturday lunch featuring a variety of sandwiches and salads, vegetable and fruit trays, beverage and dessert is available for $10. Special note: This lunch must be ordered and paid for before Thursday, October 19.

You may choose to go out for lunch. Wesley-Knox is one block from the centre of Wortley Village, home of several popular pubs, cafés and restaurants. If you don’t mind abandoning your parking place, a short drive to Wellington or Wharncliffe roads will take you to many of your favorite fast-food and franchise restaurants.

Finding Wesley-Knox

Wesley-Knox is located at 91 Askin Street in Wortley Village, Old South London. You can access Askin Street from Wharncliffe Road on the west (look for Victoria Public School and the Mac Outpost store), or from Wortley Road on the east (look for the Tuckey Home Hardware store at the main  intersection).

Most arriving from out-of-town will come via Highway 401. At Exit 186, choose Wellington Road North. Travel north 4.1 km to Commissioners Road (look for the hospitals). Turn left onto Commissioners and travel west 1.2 km to Wortley Road. Turn right onto Wortley and travel north 1.8 km to intersection of Craig/Askin streets and Wortley Road (look for the Tuckey Home Hardware store). Turn left onto Askin. Wesley-Knox is the second church on the left.

Click here for a Google map that can help you find your way to Wesley-Knox.

Parking at Wesley-Knox

Parking at Wesley-Knox is limited and we have an obligation to save spaces for those who really need them. Fortunately, there is good on-street parking in the neighbourhood. Several times each year, concerts at Wesley-Knox attract over 500 and everyone is able to find a parking place.

Unless there is a wedding or funeral, parking should also be available at nearby St. James Westminster Anglican Church. (Enter off Bruce Street which runs parallel to Askin Street one block south. Bruce Street is one-way—approach from the west). Similarly, parking should also be available at Elmwood Avenue Presbyterian Church. (Enter off Elmwood Avenue which runs parallel to Askin Street two blocks south. Elmwood is also one-way—approach from the east.) Our thanks to our friends at St. James and Elmwood for making their parking lots available.

Accommodations for Out-of-Towners

Excellent accommodations are available downtown and along Wellington Road just north of Highway 401. Go to any of the popular travel websites for details.

Links and Resources

•   Wesley-Knox United Church main website www.wesleyknox.com

  1.   John Dominic Crossan website www.johndominiccrossan.com

  2.   John Dominic Crossan Wikipedia article here.

  3.   Also search beliefnet+crossan and youtube+crossan for a selection of articles and videos

  4.   At the lectures, a number of Dom’s books will be available for purchase. A list of his most popular books is available here.

  5.   A selection of notable Crossan quotes is available here and here.

  6.   A downloadable poster will be available soon.

May we answer your questions?

Harry MacLean, chair of organizing committee




Neil and Margaret Eadie, registrars



Wesley-Knox United Church



Above: Over the years, Dom Crossan has conducted extensive historical and archeological research in Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey. Here, at Pisidian Antioch in Turkey, Dom examines an inscription glorifying the Roman emperor. (You can easily make out the Latin word DIVI indicating the emperor was considered to be divine and even God.) At his lectures, Dom often uses slides to share his findings. He plans to do this at Wesley-Knox.

A special note on behalf of our friends at Metropolitan United Church

On Saturday, October 28, one week after our Crossan lectures, Metropolitan United Church in downtown London will offer its George Goth Lecture Series with Rev. Robin McGauley and Bishop Linda Nichols. We commend these lectures to you. Full information may be found here.

Plus a special note on behalf of our friends in nearby Hamilton

On Friday-Saturday, September 29-30, Snowstar Institute, Westdale United Church and the Quest Learning Centre in Hamilton will host Bernard Brandon Scott speaking on God—from Historical Jesus to Historical
Paul. Brandon is a fine speaker and these lectures will be excellent. More information on the Snowstar website here.

Wesley-Knox United Church

Risking, Loving, Serving. Moving in the Spirit...

91 Askin Street

London, ON N6C 1E7

519.673.4803 | wesleyknox@bellnet.ca | www.wesleyknox.com

Spiritus Vivificat