• To examine the Christologies of the past and chart a Christology for the future
• To encourage students to think outside the traditional boxes of the Christian creeds without feeling that they must abandon the formulas of the past.
• To reflect on how students can see the divine in the heart of the human and to see Christianity outside religion.
• To encourage those who live either on the edges of Christianity or who are completely outside the life of church to look at Christianity through a new set of theological principals.
At the end of the course, students will:
• Understand why Jesus still matters to both the church and the world
• Envision new ways for the church to express itself in a post-Christian world
• See that those who are now exiled from the church may be where the church’s future lies.
Day 1: Introduction
Session 1: Stating the Problem
Session 2: Approaching the Bible from a new perspective I.
Day 2: Why literalism falsifies
Session 1: A new look at the birth narratives.
Session 2: Why miracles are not supernatural
Day 3: Interpretive images employed in early Christologies
Session 1: New Moses – New Elijah – Son of Man
Session 2: Servant – Shepherd
Day 4: Liturgical images in the Gospels
Session 1: The Passover: Not the context of crucifixion but the way the crucifixion was understood
Session 2: Yom Kippur: The source of atonement doctrines.
Day 5: A New Christology
Session 1: Jesus the boundary breaker
Session 2: Jesus for the non-religious
One six page (double spaced) book review of Jesus for the Non-Religious by John Shelby Spong. A fifteen page research paper on a title linked to one of the themes in the course and agreed with the Teaching Assistant
Required book for purchase:
- John Shelby Spong, Jesus for the Non-Religious. San Francisco: Harper/Collins 2007
Other recommended books:
- John Shelby Spong
The Sins of Scripture
Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism
Born of a Woman
Resurrection: Myth of Reality?
Why Christianity Must Change or Die
Here I Stand: My struggle for a Christianity of Integrity, Love and Equality
A New Christianity for a New World
- Marcus Borg
Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time
The Heart of Christianity
The God We Never Knew
- Lloyd G. Geering
The World to Come
A Christianity Without God
- John Dominic Crossan
Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography
- Robert Funk
Honest To Jesus
A Credible Jesus: Fragments of a Vision.