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REL 197

First-Year Seminar

A seminar focused on a theme in the study of religion. Open only to first-year students.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
1 course

Fall Semester information

Justin Glessner

197A: FYS: Imag(in)ing Jesus

This course will take up the figure of Jesus from three different angles: scholarship, fiction, and film. In each case we will consider the role of culture and context in accounts of the historical Jesus. Our interest is as much in the scholars, filmmakers, and authors of Jesus as it is in the historical person, Jesus of Nazareth. Reconstruction of the past is always inscribed with the questions, interests, and locations of the (hi)storytellers; the past acquires meaning as (hi)storytellers begin shaping it as history. In fiction and film this is most obvious. Less obvious, however, is how 20th-21st century 'Quest(er)s for the Historical Jesus' have been equally involved in producing knowledge that can only ever be partial, provisional, and decisively prefigured by complex particularities of outlook. The course, then, will take up representative studies about Jesus, fictional narratives, and films, to consider the role of culture and identity in the 'imagining' and 'imaging' of Jesus, and how we, in the guise of culture, find ourselves in a continuing process of imag(in)ing that has accompanied the faithful for two millennia in their quest for a life of and from Jesus.