Help us continue the growth!

helped grow our social media audience to about

5,400 Facebook followers and 1,700 Twitter followers.

Your donations


be a part of the work Westar is doing!



Wilbur Award Trophy

Wilbur Award

wins the

Westar on the Road

Our video

Cover of the May and June 2018 issue of The Fourth R

The Fourth R

Volume 31, Issue 3 • May/June 2018


Upcoming Events

Praxis Forum
Jul 12-15, 2018
Jesus Seminar on the Road
Sep 14-15, 2018
Jesus Seminar on the Road
Sep 28-29, 2018
Jesus Seminar on the Road
Sep 28-29, 2018
Jesus Seminar on the Road
Oct 26-27, 2018
Jesus Seminar on the Road
Nov 1-4, 2018
National Meeting
Nov 17-20, 2018

Begun in 2013, the Christianity Seminar aims to rewrite the history of early Christianity. The scholars of the seminar have broken through to new understandings of many disparate movements in the first four centuries of the Common Era, and are working on their first major book.

The academic Seminar on God and the Human Future began its work in 2013. Inspired by the pioneering research and public notice of the Jesus Seminar, it has attracted over thirty participating Research Fellows who are exploring new ways for thinking about God in a post-theistic context.

Welcome to Westar Institute

Westar Institute is a non-profit, public-benefit research and educational organization that is dedicated to fostering and communicating the results of cutting-edge scholarship on the history and evolution of the Christian tradition, thereby raising the level of public discourse about questions that matter in society and culture.

Photo of Sarah Morice Brubaker


Sarah Morice Brubaker began her session with a delineation of untruthfulness, explaining that it is both a theological issue and something at work in the “fake news” culture of today. She stated that Christianity hasn’t been great at providing a variety of ways in which to talk about untruthfulness. Classically, Christian culture emphasizes something as [...]

Justice versus Mercy in the Hebrew Bible

/in The Fourth R (Magazine) /by 

To uncover the origins of the tension between justice and mercy, we need to go back to the time when Israel split in two after Solomon’s death.  Each of the kingdoms positioned itself as the most authoritative when it came to tradition and religious practice, which led to the writing of two significant documents.  As a result, Jews of the first century CE could choose from their scripture and traditions two very different understandings of how to obtain God’s forgiveness.

Preface: Musings on Christian Origins

/in Forum (Academic Journal) 

In the spring of 2016 the Christianity Seminar focused its efforts on a renewed discussion of “origins” within the early Christian movement. The roots of this enterprise have been extensively researched in recent decades, yet the light of such work has yielded promising suggestions about the early Jesus movement that demand further consideration and exploration. As such, it seemed appropriate here to solicit additional comments and research data on this important [...]

Family Empires, Roman and Christian

/Polebridge Press/in  /by 

Book cover for Family Empires by Elliott


Volume I of Roman Family Empires

Household, Empire, Resistance

In this first of two volumes of Roman Family Empires: Household, Empire, Resistance, Dr. Elliott examines the Roman household form as it was changing during the Augustan era.

Geering Interviews

/Polebridge Press/in  /by 

Book cover for Geering Interviews by Grimshaw


Lloyd Geering forces us to respond to, rethink, and reinterpret Christian origins, institutions, and beliefs. He demands that we begin from a position of informed knowledge that includes a central engagement with science, religion, and scholarship. Geering came to prominence in an age when religion seemed to be losing its relevance. How do we explain his move from accused heretic to New Zealand’s foremost public intellectual? Through interviews, expansive notes, and an excellent introduction, Michael Grimshaw guides us through the life and times of Lloyd Geering.