(with apologies for cross postings)
XTalk ONLINE SEMINAR WITH GERD LÜDEMANN
The moderators of the XTalk Discussion List
are pleased to announce that Gerd Lüdemann
-- Professor of History and Literature of Early Christian at
Georg-August-University Göttingen, Germany, Director of the Institute of
Early Christian Studies, Theological Faculty Director of the Archive
"Religionsgeschichtliche Schule", Theological Faculty -- has agreed to
conduct a three week online Seminar with XTalk members and other
interested parties on the ideas and arguments set out in his most recent
book The Resurrection of Christ: A Historical Inquiry_ (Prometheus,
The Seminar will begin on Sunday, January 2nd, 2005, and run until
Saturday, January 22nd, 2005.
The Seminar's Home page is:
So as to be managed effectively, the Seminar will be conducted on a
subscription only basis.
Questions and comments submitted to the Seminar by approved Seminar
members will be subject to selection by the Seminar's moderators.
Posts sent to Professor Lüdemann will be answered by him on a daily
Topics for discussion are the issues and arguments raised in Professor
Lüdemann's book _The Resurrection of Christ_. Therefore the major
prerequisite for anyone wishing to participate in the Seminar is
familiarity with the contents and theses of this work (for a précis of
the book, see below).
To apply for membership in the Seminar, send a blank e-mail message to:
PLEASE NOTE that while applications for membership in the Seminar are
being accepted immediately, posts to Professor Lüdemann via the Seminar
Nothing should be sent in to the Seminar until the eve of its opening
day, Sunday, January 2nd, 2005.
Questions or comments about the Seminar may be sent to the following
Yours sincerely (and on behalf of the entire XTalk administrative
Co-moderator and List Owner of XTalk
_The Resurrection of Christ: A Historical Inquiry_ by Gerd Lüdemann
Although the resurrection is the keystone dogma of Christian belief, and
Sunday churchgoers rarely if ever think to question it, scholarly
research shows with the utmost clarity that from a historical standpoint
Jesus was not raised from the dead. In fact, it is almost universally
recognized among scholars of New Testament textual criticism that the
gospel narratives describing the resurrection appearances are not
reliable eyewitness accounts, but expressions of faith written by the
first Christian believers long after the death of Jesus.
In this thorough exegesis of the primary texts dealing with the
resurrection of Jesus, New Testament expert Gerd Lüdemann (University of
Göttingen) presents compelling evidence that shows the resurrection was
not a historical event and further argues that this development leaves
little, if any, basis for Christian faith as presently defined.
Beginning with Paul's testimony in I Cor. 15: 3-8, in which the apostle
declares that Jesus "has been raised on the third day in accordance with
the scriptures," Lüdemann systematically evaluates every reference to
Jesus' resurrection in the New Testament, as well as apocryphal
literature. He examines the purpose of the text writers, the ways in
which they reworked tradition, and the historical value of each account.
Through this approach, he offers a reconstruction of the probable course
of events as well as the circumstances surrounding Jesus' death on the
cross, the burial of his body, his reported resurrection on the third
day, and subsequent appearances to various disciples.
Since the historical evidence leads to the firm conclusion that Jesus'
body was not raised from the dead, Lüdemann argues that the origin of
the Easter faith must be sought in the visionary experiences of
Christianity's two leading apostles. From a modem perspective this leads
to the inescapable conclusion that both primary witnesses to Jesus'
resurrection, Peter and Paul, were victims of self-deception.
In conclusion, he asks whether in light of the non-historicity of Jesus'
resurrection, thinking people today can legitimately and in good
conscience still call themselves Christians.
Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon.)
1500 W. Pratt Blvd. #1
Chicago, IL 60626
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