Ritual Bathings in Christ Communities and Early Christian Communities
presided by Maia Kotrosits And Richard Ascough
presenters include Stephen J. Patterson And Hal Taussig
Three separate sessions were held for the Fall 2017 Christianity Seminar and this is Session One. If you are looking to purchase an audio set of all three sessions, or would like to purchase the CDs, please click here.
As the Christianity Seminar enters its final stages of re-thinking a history of the first 200 years, its Fall 2017 meetings underlined how much new ground is being uncovered. This meeting summarized new findings concerning the ritual life of the early Christ groups in ways that force both larger scholarship and the public to re-think what was happening when these groups gathered. Reinforcing its new findings of other aspects of the first 200 years, the Seminar found that standard Christian baptism and eucharist were not practiced for much of the first 200 years of early Christ-movement activities. Rather full meals and a variety of bathing practices were at the heart of Christ movements’ ritual practices in the first two centuries.
Stephen J. Patterson is Geo. H. Atkinson Professor of Religious and Ethical Studies at Willamette University. He is the author of many books, most recently The Lost Way: How Two Forgotten Gospels Are Rewriting the Story of Christian Origins (2014).
Hal Taussig is Visiting Professor of New Testament at Union Theological Seminary in New York, where he has taught masters and doctoral level studies since 1998. He also is Professor of Early Christianity at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia. He has retired from 30+ years as a United Methodist pastor.
This discussion took place at the Westar Institute Fall 2017 National Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts.