Religion professor Michael Kogan is offering three free, scholarly Bible courses to the public this summer at two churches and a synagogue.
Kogan is a part-time Charleston resident and professor and former chairman of religion and philosophy at Montclair State University in New Jersey. He plans to retire next year and move full time to Charleston, where his family lived in until 1873.
The professor, who is Jewish, already has begun two university-level courses at local churches:
A detailed look at several Old Testament prophets takes place on at noon Wednesdays at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, 67 Anson St., Charleston. This course started June 11 and runs through Labor Day. Anyone is welcome to jump in.
A close look at the Acts of the Apostles takes place at 7 p.m. Thursdays at St. Johannes Lutheran Church, 48 Hasell St., Charleston. This class started June 12 and also runs through Labor Day. It will analyze authorship and point of view, how the narrative compares and contrasts to other Scripture.
Kogan, a member of three local synagogues, also will offer a free, five-week course on Ezra, Nehemiah, Ruth and Jonah starting July 23 at Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim, a Reform temple on Hasell Street in Charleston.
These classes offer close textual studies, and participants should bring their own Bibles.
"We will try to question who wrote the books, why, and when they were written," Kogan says. "They were written by actual historical people trying to make actual points."
People of all faiths are invited to his classes, which he has held for more than a decade.