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News Release
Bushnell University Hosts Visiting Lecturer Dr. Vince Bantu to Explore "Is Christianity a Western Religion?" - 02/23/24

EUGENE, Ore. — Bushnell University will host renowned scholar Dr. Vince Bantu on the subject of Christianity’s origins and its global identity. The conference, scheduled for February 27th and 28th, will explore the diverse narratives that shape our understanding of the Christian faith.  

Keynote speaker Dr. Vince Bantu is a leading voice in uncovering the global roots of early Christianity. His impactful work, including the book “A Multitude of All Peoples: Engaging Ancient Christianity’s Global Identity” (IVP, 2020), emphasizes the need to dispel the misconception that Christianity is exclusively a Western religion. Dr. Bantu contends that by rediscovering the ancient African, Asian, and Middle Eastern roots of Christianity, we can overcome obstacles to evangelism, particularly in Black, Asian, and Latinx communities. 

The event kicks off on Tuesday, Feb. 27th, at 11 AM during the University Chapel at the Morse Center with Dr. Bantu’s keynote address, “Reimagining the Christian Story.” Attendees will be challenged to broaden their understanding of Christianity’s global journey. In the evening at the Ross Evans Chapel, from 6:30 to 9:00 PM, there will be a screening and discussion of the documentary “Unspoken,” available on Tubi, a free streaming service located at https://tubitv.com

On Wednesday, Feb. 28th, the thought-provoking sessions continue with a keynote lecture by Dr. Bantu from 10-11:30 AM, titled “Is Christianity a Western Religion?” This session will provide insights into the rich and varied historical roots of Christianity. Following this, from 12-2 PM, there will be a community lunch open to local clergy, featuring a panel discussion on “Connecting God’s Global Story to A Multitude of All Peoples.” 

The conference aims to encourage a reevaluation of Christianity’s cultural narrative and foster a shared understanding of the faith’s diverse heritage. As we collectively explore the prayer “your kingdom come,” we invite pastors, church leaders, and the community to join us for this insightful event. 

Bushnell is pursuing meaningful conversations about how the Gospel nurtures present and future hopes of, in the words of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, “the creation of the Beloved Community.” It is in this spirit, and with this hope, that we continue Bushnell’s commitment to calling and Christ-centered reconciliation by hosting Dr. Bantu on campus.  

For further information, please contact: Lars Coburn, Director of University Relations 541-684-7320 and lacoburn@bushnell.edu.  

Registration and More Information:  

*Limited seating is available; registration is required to reserve your seat. For registration and more information about “God’s Global Story” event please visit https://Bushnell.edu/gods-global-story and to see some of the past events you can visit Bushnell.edu/churchrelations. 

Sponsorship: 

Individuals, corporate partners, and local churches are invited to sponsor these events and participate in these no-cost experiences. In gratitude, the University will provide appropriate thanks and useful exposures to encourage and bless our friends who share in the leadership and impetus surrounding this important topic. For more information about sponsorship please visit: Bushnell.edu/sponsor.    

About Bushnell University

Founded in 1895 Bushnell University helps students discover and answer God’s call on their lives. Devoted to offering a Christ-centered environment, Bushnell encourages students to grow in wisdom, informed by faith, leading to lives of service. Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, the University was founded by pastor-educator Eugene C. Sanderson and pioneer businessman and church leader James A. Bushnell.

Bushnell is the largest private university in Eugene’s vibrant University District. The University offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees for undergraduate and graduate studies through course formats on campus, online, and hybrid. More information about the University is available at www.bushnell.edu.  

About Dr. Vince Bantu:

Dr. Bantu (Ph.D., 2015, The Catholic University of America) is a leading voice in excavating the global roots of Christianity in its earliest expressions. He has partnered with the Jude 3 Project in public events such as “Is Christianity a White Religion?” (Lisa Fields, CEO and Founder of the Jude 3 Project, was one of our guests for the November 2023 “Becoming the Beloved Community” event.) Dr. Bantu is the author of several books, including A Multitude of All Peoples: Engaging Ancient Christianity’s Global Identity (IVP, 2020) and Those for Whom the Lamp Shines: The Making of Egyptian Ethnic Identity in Late Antiquity (Univ. of California Press, 2023). Dr. Bantu is a dynamic speaker, in demand as both a lecturer and preacher. He has been hosted at numerous colleges and universities, including Regent College (Vancouver, Canada), Biola University, and Wheaton College. Dr. Bantu’s message is that, to reach the world with the Gospel, we must dispel the myth that Christianity is a European, white religion. Christianity didn’t become global with colonialism, but its earliest expressions were nurtured in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Additionally, the recovery of ancient global Christianity enables white, European-heritage Christians to remold their own narrative as well. Christianity isn’t a cultural inheritance only of white Americans and Europeans; it’s a shared heritage with “a multitude of all peoples.” Recovering that story—God’s global story—will support Bushnell University mission of aiding students in finding their calling, assisting in the work of reconciliation.  

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