My first experiment with the historical Jesus in church occurred in Hamilton, Ontario. I was appointed to lead a community set up to explore new forms of Christianity. I wanted to see if it was possible to take the historical Jesus to church. The answer turned out to be yes, but the church won’t like [...]
Surely we’ve all had that awkward experience of being cornered by someone with an urgent cure or insight that simply must be imparted for our benefit—no, for our very existence, our ultimate well-being! You might be entertained to learn that this was a rampant problem in the Roman Empire, too. Yes, it’s true: scamming, swindling, [...]
How did Judaism and Christianity become separate religions? There are three problems with this question: the words religion, Christianity, and Judaism! These words have evolved in meaning over time, and it simply isn’t possible to separate them out so neatly. Nevertheless, renowned Jewish historian Daniel Boyarin helped to puzzle out the conundrum at the Fall [...]
The history of Christianity is often the history of doctrinal dispute, arguments about what the Church should or should not believe. This history is often framed as if the Church fell into division after existing an original “pure” form, yet historically no such a pure form can be found to have existed. Like most social [...]
Necropolitics and haunting … no, I’m not talking about Halloween, although there is something uncanny about this new language of biblical studies. If you appreciate liberation theology and its many cousins, you’ll probably find “hauntology” meaningful, too. But let’s not collapse these topics too quickly.
Westar Institute fosters collaborative, cumulative research in religious studies and communicates the results of the scholarship to a broad, non-specialist public.