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Upcoming Events

Jesus Seminar on the Road
Feb 2-3, 2018
Jesus Seminar on the Road
Feb 9-10, 2018
Jesus Seminar on the Road
Mar 2-3, 2018
Jesus Seminar on the Road
Mar 9-10, 2018
Jesus Seminar on the Road
Mar 16-17, 2018
National Meeting
Mar 21-24, 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.

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When the parish newsletter announced that Santa Claus would be visiting our church on Christmas Eve, I was not amused. He would not be participating in the actual liturgy. In fact, he would not be in the sanctuary at all but rather in the Great Hall following the early service—a time geared for families with [...]

How Humans Made God

/in The Fourth R (Magazine) /by 

The assertion that humans made God is one that, only a century ago, many people would have found somewhat blasphemous. Even today there are many who would regard it as absurd and perhaps offensive. And this in spite of the fact that, in 1966, an April edition of Time magazine splashed on its cover, ‘Is God dead?’ Their article brought to public notice the fact that a few theologians, Jewish as well as Christian, were at that time discussing the ‘The Death of God’.

Inventing the Passion

/Polebridge Press/in  /by 

Book cover for Inventing the Passion by Dewey

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How the Death of Jesus Was Remembered

This historical primer on the death of Jesus examines the evidence of Jesus’ crucifixion, explains how crucifixion worked in the Roman Empire, and explores how and why it was remembered by followers of Jesus.

Preface: The Language of Apocalyptic

/in Forum (Academic Journal) /by 

Ancient apocalyptic, both in scrolls and imaginative strategy, emerges out of social upheaval. When pressed to explain social change, the ancient mind was often at a loss. Only a dramatic scenario could account for the loss of one’s social world or the advent of a new one. Apocalyptic writing was a creative response to being thrown into the vortex of life. In the four following articles the authors demonstrate how the ancients could accommodate and even participate in the changed conditions of living [...]