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Today, as Christians around the world commemorate Good Friday, Christian scholar and former priest John Dominic Crossan joins Fresh Air to discuss the historical Jesus, the role of crucifixion in antiquity, and the beginnings of Christianity. Crossan is professor emeritus of biblical studies at DePaul University in Chicago and a founding member of the Jesus Seminar, a group of scholars who meet to determine the authenticity of Jesus’ sayings in the Gospels. He is also the author of more than 18 books on Christianity, including the national bestsellers Who Killed Jesus? and The Birth of Christianity. A native of Ireland, Crossan was ordained as a priest with the Servites, a 13th-century Roman Catholic religious order. He left the priesthood in 1969. ALSO, Levon Helm, former drummer and vocalist for the ’60s and ’70s rock group, The Band, recounts his early fame, his levonhelmband2.jpgbattle against throat cancer and his continuing solo career. When The Band joined Bob Dylan as backup in 1965, Time magazine described the combination as “in some ways, the most decisive moment in rock history.” The Band went on to record their own highly influential albums, Music From Big Pink in 1968 and The Band in 1969. They split up 30 years ago. In 1996, Helm was diagnosed with throat cancer. He underwent surgery and radiation, and, for a time, was unable to sing. Helm’s recent album, Dirt Farmer, won a Grammy in 2007 in the “Best Traditional Folk” category. It is his first solo studio album in 25 years.


Hour 1
4 ½ weeks to go till the PA Primary. In our weekly discussion of national politics we catch up on Election 2008. It was a busy week with the candidates weighing in on the five-year Iraq war anniversary, also John McCain is emphasizing his foreign policy credentials with trips to Iraq & Afghanistan, Barack Obama was in damage control mode over his controversial pastor, and Hillary Clinton’s daily calendar as First Lady was just released. To talk about all this we’ll hear from JON DELANO the Money and Politics editor for KDKA television in Pittsburgh, and with JASON JOHNSON an Assistant Professor of Communications and Political Science at Hiram College in Ohio. Listen to this show via Real Audio | mp3

Hour 2
We talk about what it takes to speak “with” and speak “without” an accent. Our guests are actress AMY WALKER, actress and dialect coach HAZEL BOWERS and speech pathologist KAY MONKHOUSE who helps people reduce their accents. Listen to this show via Real Audio | mp3

THE WORLD CAFElisten.gif

daviddyenpr.jpgChris Walla of Death Cab For Cutie

David Dye welcomes Chris Walla to the World Cafe. Perhaps fans best know him as the guitarist for indie-sensation Death Cab For Cutie, but inside the industry Chris’ desired production work has shaped the albums, not only of his own band, but other hit combos like Tegan & Sara, Nada Surf, and The Decemberists. He’s also found time to release his first solo album, Field Manual, which during production happened to be confiscated by border patrol on a trip back from Canada. Coincidentally, sharp political themes dominate the record, but multi-instrumental, laidback rock orchestrations offset the lyrical bite.


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