From Jesus to Constantine: From Disunity to Unity
The myth of Christian origins maintains that early Christians formed a unified, loving community. But looking far back into the mists of emerging Christianity, we see conflict and controversy. The presenters will examine the plurality and diversity in early Christian belief, and ask why Christianity grew, why it succeeded, and how it became unified.
Friday, 7:30–9 pm
The Many Faces of Early Christianity
Early Christian groups varied from a focus on Jesus’ sayings, (Q),to a focus on his life and execution (Mark), to a focus on the crucified and risen one without concern for Jesus’ life (Paul), to a focus on Jesus as Wisdom (Mary Magdelene). Joanna Dewey will explore the various Christian communities, their different contexts and theological perspectives. As we look at these groups, we will consider the impact of class, ethnicity (Jew or Gentile) and gender on their understandings of Christianity. The session will conclude with a performance of “Woman on the Way,” a rendition of the Gospel of Mark as Artemisia, an imaginary late first century woman, might have told it.
Living in the Empire
The Roman Empire was the two thousand pound gorilla that determined reality in the ancient world. This session will examine how Jesus and Paul rejected the Empire and how Constantine turned the church into an empire.
What Can We Learn
What does the diversity of early Christianity tell us about the possible configurations contemporary Christianity might take? How might we begin to learn from the diversity of the past? How might we respond to today’s “empire?”
Saturday, 3:00–4:00 pm
Southminster Presbyterian Church
Joanna Dewey (Ph.D., Graduate Theological Union) is the Harvey H. Guthrie, Jr. Professor Emerita of Biblical Studies at Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is the author of several books, including Mark as Story (with David Rhoads, 1999).
Stephen J. Patterson (Ph.D., Claremont Graduate School) is Geo. H. Atkinson Professor of Religious and Ethical Studies at Willamette University. He is the author of several books, including Beyond the Passion: Rethinking the Death and Life of Jesus (2004) and The Gospel of Thomas and Jesus (1993)
- Individual Rate $75
- Pre-registration Rate (by Sept 27) $60
- Additional Family Members $50
- Friday Evening Lecture $20
- Saturday Morning Workshop $30
- Saturday Afternoon Workshop $30
Refunds are available until two weeks before the event if requested in writing, minus a $10 administrative fee. No refunds will be given after that date.