Thursday, April 7, 2016

April-May 2016 Tuesday Activities

Our History, Philosophy, & Theology Lecture Group continues each Tuesday evening this April and May with some interesting topics and exciting activities.

April 19, Tues (7 pm): Who Wrote the Gospels?  (Understanding Scripture in Context Part 7): Our Lifelong Learning Lecture group will look at what we know about the authors of the canonical gospels. Although traditionally attributed to "Matthew," "Mark," "Luke," and "John" all four gospels are actually anonymous and the traditional attributions are late. What do the academic disciplines of history and literary criticism tell us about the gospel authors, their stories, and the historical Jesus?

April 26, Tues (7 pm):  Movies that Matter with Leandro Palacios: (movie to be announced).

May 3, Tues (7 pm): What Can We Know about the Historical Jesus?: Although at the heart of the largest religious tradition in human history, Jesus of Nazereth left no writings. The earliest texts about his sayings, teachings, life, and movement were written decades after his death in a language (Greek) that was almost certainly not the primary language he himself spoke (Aramaic). Morever, his activities attracted almost no attention outside of the backwater frontier provinces of the Roman Empire where he lived and died. Nevertheless, it is possible to tease a significant amount of historically likely information out of the sources through the discipline of literary criticism. Our lecture group will explore how scholars have undertaken this project and look at some of the results of two centuries of academic inquiry.

May 10, Tues (7 pm): The Early History of Christianity from the 1st Easter to ConstantineFrom a small Israelite sect whose leader had been summarily executed by Roman authorities in the 30s AD, early Christian communities continued to spread, despite occasional periods of official government persecution, until after three centuries the Roman Emperor Constantine himself became Christian. How did Constantine's Christian church differ from the earliest Christian communities? What did the earliest Christian communities even look like? Our Tuesday lecture group will explore these questions as we continue our study of Christian history.

May 17, Tues (7 pm): What Is the Book of Revelations Actually About?  The Book of Revelations is among the most enigmatic texts in the Christian Bible. Rich in symbolism and gruesome in its imagery, the Apocalypse has been intently studied by prognosticators for nearly 2,000 years. Christians in every generation have read the text and decided that a literal destruction of the world would occur in their own lifetime and that they were the people to whom the text was directly addressing. And every one of them has been proved wrong in their interpretations, as time marches onward and this world continues to exist. If everyone has always misread the text, what is the Book of Revelations actually about? Who was its author and who was his actual audience? What if the book is actually a theological proposition and not at all a prediction of future history? If so, what does it mean?

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