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Jeffrey Siker | Scriptural Politics of Family and Homosexuality: Textual Orientations
Both presidential candidates have staked out clear positions on family and same-sex marriage. President Obama favors same-sex marriage as part of promoting family values, while Governor Romney opposes same-sex marriage and views it as detrimental to family values. Scripture figures significantly, if at times indirectly, in both approaches to this divisive issue. In this lecture we will explore various biblical "textual orientations" in relation to this aspect of the current presidential debates and public policy discussions.
Dr. Jeff Siker grew up in Pittsburgh, PA. He received his B.A. (Music & Religious Studies) and M.A. (Religious Studies) from Indiana University (Bloomington). He then received his Masters of Divinity degree from Yale University Divinity School, after which he was ordained to ministry in the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA). He served as a pastor to churches in Michigan, after which he went to Princeton Theological Seminary, where he earned his Ph.D. in New Testament Studies, again serving in churches during his time there. In 1987 he came to Loyola Marymount University, where he continues to teach and write in the areas of Christian origins, Jewish/Christian relations, Scripture and ethics, Scripture and politics, and the history of biblical interpretation. Prof. Siker has written over thirty articles and several books, including Disinheriting the Jews: Abraham in Early Christian Controversy (Westminster/John Knox Press, 1991), Scripture & Ethics: 20th Century Portraits (Oxford, 1996), and two edited books on homosexuality: Homosexuality in the Church: Both Sides of the Debate (Westminster/John Knox Press, 1994) and Religion & Homosexuality: An Encyclopedia (Greenwood Press, 2007). Dr. Siker was the organizing chair of the Early Jewish/Christian Relations Section within the Society of Biblical Literature, has been the recipient of and juror for grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Catholic Biblical Association, chaired LMU's Department of Theological Studies from 2002-2010, has been a Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute for Advanced Studies in Jerusalem (2009-2011), and remains active teaching in various churches. His most recent article is "President Obama, the Bible, and Political Rhetoric," forthcoming in the journal Political Theology. Prof. Siker is married (to Judy Siker) and together they have five grown children.