'Heroic Journeys and Queer Hospitality: Odysseys Around Paul's Letters'

Jimmy Hoke, visiting assistant professor of religion takes a look at Paul's letters as he discusses queerness in the Roman world of the first century C.E. in his lecture at Luther College on Nov. 6.

Hoke's lecture will take place at 7 p.m. at the Center for Faith and Life Recital Hall. There will be a reception to follow in the Qualley Lounge of the Center for Faith and Life. Both events are open to the public with no charge for admission.

Hoke asserts that Paul's letters and the book of Acts present an odyssey of their own, filled with adventurous encounters with many people and ideas across the Mediterranean. He compares Paul to Odysseus, saying "Paul is on a journey…like Homer's hero. This 'heroic Paul' relies on the hospitality of others: women, slaves and those on the margins of society.

"Unlike The Odyssey, this lecture will focus less on the hero and more on the journey, using text as an entry point to see how a heroic journey relies on the reception of people from different ethnicities, classes, genders and sexualities. As Hoke puts it, "Their hospitality, we might say is 'queer': it disrupts expectations and challenges the hero as much as it welcomes him." This allows for the audience to examine how hospitality has different meanings and interpretations that are relevant to contemporary issues surrounding the idea of inclusivity and being welcome.

At Luther, Hoke teaches introductory courses on the New Testament and Biblical Studies as well as courses on gender, race and sexuality in early Christianity. He is revising, for publication, his first book "Under God? Romans in Feminist and Queer Assemblages." His current research consists of resurrecting the plausible ideas of first-century queer people and bringing them into both ancient and contemporary conversations.

A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,005, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college's website: http://www.luther.edu.

Jimmy Hoke