course is a sustained conversation about Jesus and the Christian
life today. It
combines three purposes:
the pre-Easter and post-Easter Jesus in the historical context of
the first century.
to see the significance of Jesus for the Christian life today.
how to teach about Jesus in the church today.
conversations about Jesus will be set in our own cultural context
of a time of change and conflict within North American
Christianity. We are
living in a time of transition between an earlier Christian
paradigm and an emerging Christian paradigm.
Earlier paradigm Christians generally resist the transition
and change, whereas emerging paradigm Christians generally embrace
the change. And many
Christians are somewhere in between, knowing that the earlier
paradigm is no longer completely satisfying, but uncertain about
what an alternative might be.
both earlier and emerging paradigm Christians, Jesus is the
decisive revelation of what can be seen of God in a human life –
of what a life full of God looks like.
We will explore a historical,
sacramental way of seeing Jesus, the gospels, and the New
Testament; and a relational and
transformational way of seeing the Christian life.
time together will be spent in a variety of ways:
time" each day
and lecturettes, with responses/questions
small-group activity each day
in-class reflection/writing exercises
1. Marcus Borg, The
Heart of Christianity
2003). Though this book is about more than Jesus, much of it also
treats Jesus and the Christian life.
It also provides the cultural and ecclesiastical context of
the course. Ideally,
this book should be read before the course (and you will want to
bring it along).
2. Walter Wink, Jesus
and Non-Violence: A Third Way (Minneapolis:
Fortress, 2003). A
brief but important book.
3. A New Testament or Bible. Any
“mainline” version is fine: NRSV, RSV, NEB, NAB, Jerusalem
of Classes and Reading Assignments.
June 14. Introduction.
To each other, the course, memories of Jesus.
Introduction to the pre-Easter and post-Easter Jesus, and
the nature of the gospels.
Heart of Christianity, chapters one and two.
Tuesday, June 15. Jesus
and God. Christology,
Heart of Christianity, chapters three through five.
June 16. The Way
of Jesus: Jesus and Wisdom.
Heart of Christianity, chapters
six and nine (NOT six THROUGH nine).
You may wish to begin Wink’s book, which is assigned for
June 17. The
Politics of Jesus: Jesus and the Kingdom, Jesus and Non-violent
Heart of Christianity, chapter
Jesus and Non-Violence
June 18. The
Community of Jesus Today.
Heart of Christianity,
chapters eight, ten and eleven.
today class will end at 3pm.
For everybody, whether for
CEU or credit: attendance, assigned readings, and
participation in all sessions.
Attendance will be monitored in part by in-class
For credit: a paper approximately eight to ten pages long (2000 to 3000 words).
Topic to be negotiated with instructor or course assistant,
before or during the course.
thematic paper based on several sources.
comparative book-review, integrating/comparing/contrasting two
books on a relevant theme.
exegetical paper based on a gospel text.