UWG to Host Debate on Christian Origins

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

On Feb. 12, the University of West Georgia will host a discussion between Christian history professor Daniel Williams and atheist educator Ed Buckner on the question of Christianity’s origins.

The discussion, titled “Christian Origins in the Light of History: An Atheist and a Christian Discuss the Evidence,” will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 12, in Kathy Cashen Hall on the University of West Georgia campus. Instead of engaging in a rigid and formal debate, the two speakers will openly discuss substantially different perspectives and conclusions on the effects of history on Christianity.

Both speakers are accomplished authors and educators. Ed Buckner, who has a doctorate in educational leadership from Georgia State University, is a board member and former president of American Atheists. He is also the co-author of In Freedom We Trust: An Atheist Guide to Religious Liberty. Dr. Daniel Williams, presenting a Christian perspective, is an associate professor of history at the University of West Georgia and author of God’s Own Party: The Making of the Christian Right. He teaches courses on the history of Christianity and American religion at the University of West Georgia. Williams also teaches in the adult Bible class program at the Newnan Church of Christ.

The discussion will give each participant a chance to present his own perspective on the historical evidence regarding Jesus, the origins of Christianity and Christianity’s place in history, particularly American history. Both Buckner and Williams will make 15-minute presentations. They will then have an additional five minutes to respond to the opposing view. To conclude the event, the audience will have the opportunity to ask questions after what promises to be a lively and informative discussion.

Dr. Lori Wilson Snaith, a senior lecturer in English at the University of West Georgia, will moderate the event.