Who is Jesus?

This coming semester at Whitley College, I’ll be teaching a unit called Who is Jesus?

Here’s a little about it:

I’m really looking forward to teaching this unit – alongside one on my other favourite JC, Johnny Calvin – and to the insights that emerge as my students and I engage with the following texts, among others:

I. WHO IS CHRIST FOR US TODAY? ON THE QUESTS FOR THE HISTORICAL JESUS

  • Stephen E. Fowl, ‘Reconstructing and Deconstructing the Quest for the Historical Jesus’, Scottish Journal of Theology 42 (1989), 319–33.
  • Thomas P. Rausch, Who is Jesus?: An Introduction to Christology (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2003), Chapters 1 and 2.

II. SECOND TESTAMENT CHRISTOLOGY – INTERCHANGE, UNION, AND RESURRECTION: ST PAUL’S APOCALYPTIC CHRIST 

  • Douglas A. Campbell, ‘Christ and the Church in Paul: A “Post-New Perspective” Account’, in Four Views on the Apostle Paul, ed. Michael F. Bird (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2012), 113–43.
  • Louis Martyn, ‘The Apocalyptic Gospel in Galatians’. Interpretation 54, no. 3 (July 2000), 246–66. 

III. SECOND TESTAMENT CHRISTOLOGY – PORTRAITS OF BELIEF 

  • Gerald O’Collins, ‘The Jewish Matrix’, in Christology: A Biblical, Historical, and Systematic Study of Jesus, 2nd ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), 21–43.
  • Francis Watson, ‘The Quest for the Real Jesus’, in The Cambridge Companion to Jesus, ed. Markus Bockmuehl (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), 156–69.

IV. EARLY SETTLEMENTS ­– I 

  • Gregory of Nazianzus, ‘To Cledonius the Priest against Apollinarius (Ep. CI)’, in A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, Second Series. Volume 7: S. Cyril of Jerusaelm, S. Gregory Nazianzen, ed. Philip Schaff and Henry Wace (Edinburgh/Grand Rapids, MI: T&T Clark/Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1989), 439–43.
  • Irenæus, ‘Against Heresies’, in The Ante-Nicene Fathers: Translations of the Writings of the Fathers down to A.D. 325. Volume I: The Apostolic Fathers – Justin Martyr – Irenæus, ed. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson (Edinburgh/Grand Rapids, MI: T&T Clark/Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1993), III.16­–22 (pp. 440–55).
  • Tertullian, ‘Against Praxeas; in which he defends, in all essential points, the doctrine of the Holy Trinity’, in The Ante-Nicene Fathers: Translations of the Writings of the Fathers down to A.D. 325. Volume III: Latin Christianity: Its Founder, Tertullian, ed. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson (Edinburgh/Grand Rapids, MI: T&T Clark/Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1993), Chapters 27–30 (pp. 623–27).

V. EARLY SETTLEMENTS – II

  • Athanasius, Athanasius on the Incarnation: The Treatise De Incarnatione Verbi Dei, trans. The Religious of C. S. M. V., 2nd ed. (London: A. R. Mowbray, 1953), 25–64.

VI. CHRIST IN CELLULOID

  • The film Ordet, directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer.
  • Robert Barron, ‘Christ in Cinema: The Evangelical Power of the Beautiful’, in The Oxford Handbook of Christology, ed. Francesca Aran Murphy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), 475–87.

VII. THE SAVING GOD

  • Anselm, ‘Why God Became Man’, in Anselm of Canterbury: The Major Works, ed. Brian Davies and G. R. Evans (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), I.xi–xxi, II.iv–xx (pp. 282–307, 317–54).
  • John D. Zizioulas, ‘Biblical Aspects of the Eucharist’, in The Eucharistic Communion and the World, ed. Luke B. Tallon (London: T&T Clark, 2011), 1–38. 

VIII. THE DYING GOD 

  • Eberhard Jüngel, God as the Mystery of the World: On the Foundation of the Theology of the Crucified One in the Dispute between Theism and Atheism, trans. Darrell L. Guder (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1983), 343–68.
  • Karl Barth, The Humanity of God, trans. John Newton Thomas and Thomas Wieser (London: Collins, 1961), 37–65. 

IX. THE RESURRECTED AND COMING GOD

  • Hans W. Frei, The Identity of Jesus Christ: The Hermeneutical Bases of Dogmatic Theology, Expanded and updated ed. (Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2013), 140–50.
  • Jürgen Moltmann, ‘The Resurrection of Christ: Hope for the World’, in Resurrection Reconsidered, ed. Gavin D’Costa (Oxford: Oneworld, 1996), 73–86.
  • Rowan Williams, Resurrection: Interpreting the Easter Gospel, 2nd ed. (London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 2002), 68–90.

X. GOD IN THE GALLERY 

  • Jeremy Begbie, ‘Christ and the Cultures: Christianity and the Arts’, in The Companion to Christian Doctrine, ed. Colin E. Gunton (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), 101–18.
  • Robin M. Jensen, ‘Jesus Up Close’, Christian Century 120, no. 19 (2003), 26–30.
  • Lawrence S. Cunningham, ‘Christ in Art from the Baroque to the Present’, in The Oxford Handbook of Christology, ed. Francesca Aran Murphy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), 506–16.

XI. CHRIST IN THE CONTEMPORARY WORLD: CONTEXTUAL CHRISTOLOGIES

  • Benjamin Myers, ‘“In his own strange way”: Indigenous Australians and the Church’s Confession’, Uniting Church Studies 16, no. 1 (2010), 39–48.
  • Stuart Piggin, ‘Jesus in Australian History and Culture’, in Mapping the Landscape: Essays in Australian and New Zealand Christianity: Festschrift in Honour of Professor Ian Breward, ed. Susan Emilsen and William W. Emilsen, American University Studies (New York, NY: Peter Lang, 2000), 150–67.
  • The Rainbow Spirit Elders, Rainbow Spirit Theology: Toward an Australian Aboriginal Theology, 2nd ed. (Hindmarsh: ATF Press, 2012), 55–74.
  • Stanley Jedidiah Samartha, ‘Indian Realities and the Wholeness of Christ’, Missiology 10, no. 3 (1982), 301–17.

XII. THE FINALITY OF JESUS CHRIST IN A PLURALIST WORLD?

  • Gavin D’Costa, ‘Christ, the Trinity and Religious Plurality’, in Christian Uniqueness Reconsidered: Myth of Pluralistic Theology of Religions, ed. Gavin D’Costa, Faith Meets Faith (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1990), 16–29.
  • John Hick, ‘Christology in an Age of Religious Pluralism’, Journal of Theology for Southern Africa 35 (1981), 4–9.

If you’re keen to know more, it’s not too late to enrol ;-) The unit can be taken at either undergraduate or postgraduate level, as well as online (at UG or PG level) from anywhere the World Wide Web has reached.

5 thoughts on “Who is Jesus?

  1. Looks like a very stimulating course, Jason. And it’s interesting to because I am teaching a new course on Jesus in my next semester (not until Fall, though), although that’s just a mid-level undergrad course and so deals less with primary texts. In any case, radically political Reformed theologian minds think alike I guess. ;-)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Jason, I think a range a sources is really important, but do you think there is a solid single text for a Christology course? If so, what do you recommend?

    Best,

    Andrew

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  3. Hi jason.

    What about Bonhoeffer’s LPP? I think he asks some provocative questions in relation to the question “who is Christ today?” Especially from a post-christendom perspective.

    Of course it is helpful to understand the historical context of German religious experience in 30s/40s. And also the compromises and bland ethics of state church of that time.

    Have you read it?

    James

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  4. Hi James. Yes, absolutely. In fact, there is a sense in which I frame the entire unit around the material and questions raised by Bonhoeffer in Letters and Papers, a favourite text of mine.

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