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9935[Synoptic-L] XTalk Seminar with Gerd Ludemann

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  • Jeffrey B. Gibson
    Nov 30, 2004
      (with apologies for cross postings)


      The moderators of the XTalk Discussion List (http://ntgateway.com/xtalk/) 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, 2004)

      The Seminar will begin on Sunday, January 2nd, 2005, and run until Saturday, January 22nd, 2005.

      The Seminar's Home page is: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Ludemann_Seminar

      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 basis.

      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 ARE NOT.

      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 e-mail address:


      Yours sincerely (and on behalf of the entire XTalk administrative staff),

      Jeffrey Gibson

      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