Ancient Christian Tales about Jesus: (His) Story through the Eyes of Peasants, Bards, and Biographers

January 10, 2018 - April 11, 2018
Montreal QC

W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

Ancient Christian Tales

about Jesus: (His)Story

through the Eyes of Peasants,

Bards, and Biographers

January 10 to April 11, 2018

This course offers a sustained examination of several ancient

Christian Gospels. We will focus primarily on the four canonical

gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), though attention will be given

also to a number of extra-canonical gospels (such as the Gospel of

Thomas). We will approach these texts as ancient pieces of literature that

are viewed best within the historical, social, and literary contexts of the

first and second centuries CE. Careful attention will be given to reading

the Gospels independently and synoptically. Specific themes developed in

this course include the examination of ancient social values (collectivism,

honour/shame, cleanliness and purity), issues of politics/empire,

questions of historiography and memory, the compositional history and

context of each Gospel, and especially the diversity and distinctiveness of

Jesus’s image(s) within each narrative. In addition to reading these texts

within their ancient context(s), class discussions will explore the many

ways in which ancient Christian tales about Jesus continue to find

sustained resonance within the contemporary world.



We aim to make theological education accessible to a wide range of students.

This is a rich opportunity for those seeking deeper understanding of Christian

faith and spiritual enrichment; and/or wanting to pursue graduate theological

education without earning a degree; and/or thinking about ordained ministry,

but wanting to discern a call by trying some courses first.

This course is given 3 academic credits at the Masters (M.Div.) level.

Credits apply to the programs of any of the partner Colleges of MST,

and would normally be considered for transfer to other academic institutions.



resides in Alberta, where he

teaches courses in Biblical and

Religious Studies at Concordia

University of Edmonton. He

was previously a Faculty

Lecturer of New Testament

Studies at McGill University.

Dr. Tappenden’s research

explores dynamics of social

memory and embodied

cognition within the literature

of the early Christian

movement. His first book –

Resurrection in Paul:

Cognition, Metaphor, and

Transformation (SBL Press,

2016) – has recently been

awarded the 2017 Manfred

Lautenschläger Award for

Theological Promise from the

University of Heidelberg.


dates & times:

January 10 to April 11, 2018

All webinars are on Wednesdays at

6:30 p.m. EST

cost: $355


info: Caroline Leamon