AP/HUMA 3422 3.00
Origins of Christianity II: Gospel Portraits of Jesus & Writings of the Second Generation (65-135 CE)
This course takes a historical approach to writings produced in the second generation of the Jesus movements, including the gospels of Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John. The course begins with a discussion of the first-century Palestinian context for traditions about Jesus before turning to the ways Jesus was portrayed in the earliest narratives about him. We will explore the literary, social and cultural context of various other writings both inside and outside the New Testament as a window into the lives of Jesus adherents in this second generation. The methods of history, the social sciences (sociology and anthropology), and literary and rhetorical analysis will further our understanding of key issues. Throughout, we will place our discussions of early Christianity within the framework of the ancient Mediterranean world. Students will gain some control of both the content of early Christian texts and the environment in which Christianity was born, as well as an ability to analyze primary materials from a historical perspective.