Religious Studies | Jesus and the Gospels
R320 | 10062 | Harrill

Jesus is a major religious figure about which there is considerable
academic and theological debate.  The course enters into this debate
by examining in detail how early Christian movements
produced "gospels" about Jesus.  What were the origins and types of
these early Christian gospels?  Did these traditions develop and
change over time?  How did such gospels function in early Christian
communities?   We shall focus on the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew,
Mark, and Luke), we will also look at some apocryphal gospel
traditions like the Gospel of Thomas.  Important to this study is a
critical assessment of the many scholarly "quests" for the
historical Jesus. The course goals are (1) to learn the distinction
between the historical Jesus and early Christian gospel traditions
about Jesus; (2) to understand the basic principles of Synoptic
Gospel research; (3) to gain historical information about the
different types of gospel traditions both inside the New Testament
canon. Requirements: A midterm, a modest (10-page) research paper,
and a final exam.