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Release: Oct. 4, 2000

UI professor selected for summer residency at Rockefeller center in Italy

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- George Nickelsburg, University of Iowa emeritus professor of religion, has been invited to spend a month in residency at the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Study and Conference Center in Italy during summer 2001.

Nickelsburg plans to use the time to work on a book manuscript, "Refocusing the Images: Paradigm Shifts in the Study of Early Judaism and Early Christianity." His book examines the dramatic changes in scholarship on early Judaism since the first publication of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1948, and how those changes affect scholars' understanding of Christian origins.

Nickelsburg said he eagerly anticipates his time at the Bellagio center in May and June 2001 and considers himself "very fortunate" to have been selected.

"This gives me an opportunity to synthesize things I've been working on for three decades," he said. "It should be a very enriching experience."

Scholars are invited to the Bellagio center each year to work on projects in a serene setting without interruptions from the technologies that can distract them from "creative thinking, scholarly discussion and serious contemplation." Since its opening in 1959, the center, located in the foothills of the Italian Alps, has served as a meeting point for more than 2,700 residents and 19,000 conferees from more than 80 countries.