Female Disciples in Early Christianity: Non-Hierarchical Christianity at St Paul’s, London

On Tuesday 30 October 2018, at St Paul’s Cathedral (London), Professor Helen Bond (University of Edinburgh) and Professor Joan Taylor (King’s College, London) discussed the roles of women in early Christianity, beginning with Jesus’s female disciples: “My Soul Glorifies the Lord: Jesus’ female disciples”.

“The traditional story of the birth of Christianity is dominated by men. It is often thought that Jesus only chose men to be his disciples and apostles, but evidence suggests that this is really only half the story. Were female disciples in fact crucial to the Jesus movement? Profoundly scandalous at the time, the idea remains highly controversial 2,000 years later. Two distinguished early church historians will present research that shows as many as half of Jesus’ disciples were women. They say the evidence shows that women were integral to his mission and only if we see men and women working together do we see the whole story, revealing the early church as far more radical than we thought.”

0:05 Andrew Carwood, chair

7:10 Helen Bond – opening address

23:10 Joan Taylor – opening address

35:55 Helen Bond – second address

52:35 Joan Taylor – second address

1:03:25 Helen Bond, Joan Taylor, and Andrew Carwood – Panel Q&A

 

 

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Memory and the Reception of Jesus in Early Christianity

The Memory and the Reception of Jesus in Early Christianity Conference was held on Friday 10th to Saturday 11th June 2016, at St Mary’s University, Twickenham. Some of the lectures from this conference are now available on YouTube:

Day 1

Chris Keith (read by Steve Walton), “The Memory Approach and the Reception of Jesus”

Christine Jacobi, “The Reception of Jesus in Paul”

Discussion after Keith and Jacobi

Richard Bauckham, “The Psychology of Eyewitness Memory”

Helen Bond, “The Reception of Jesus in the Gospel of John”

Discussion after Bauckham and Bond

Jens Schroeter, “Memory and Theories of History” [lecture is incomplete: cuts off early]

Day 2

Samuel Byrskog, “Memory and Narrative”

Sandra Hübenthal, “The Reception of Jesus in Mark’s Gospel”

Discussion after Byrskog and Hübenthal

Alan Kirk, “Memory and Media”

Joan Taylor, “The Reception of Images of Jesus Prior to Constantine”

Discussion after Kirk and Taylor

Ruben Zimmermann, “Memory, Identity, and Mimetic Ethics”

James Crossley, “The Reception of Jesus in Talmudic Literature”

Discussion after Zimmermann and Crossley

Rafael Rodríguez, “Memory and Liturgy”

Anthony Le Donne, “Reflections on the Past, Present, and Future of the Memory Approach”

Panel Discussion

Helen Bond on Simon of Cyrene

Professor Helen Bond delivered her inaugural professorial lecture, and the opening lecture for the 2015/16 academic year at the University of Edinburgh, on September 17, 2015. The title of the lecture was “Paragon of Discipleship or Parody of Kingship? Simon of Cyrene in Mark’s Gospel”. Bond argues that Mark did not present Simon of Cyrene’s carrying of Jesus’s cross as an exemplary act of discipleship, but that Mark employs Simon to further the Gospel’s presentation of Jesus as King.

Helen [Bond] is simply the best New Testament scholar currently in post in the UK.
– Paul Foster

After introductions by Professor Paul Foster (2:05) and Professor Dorothy Miell (3:39), Helen Bond’s lecture begins at 8:00.

 

On James Crossley’s Redirection of the Life of the Historical Jesus: A Syndicate symposium

Crossley-Jesus

There is a symposium at Syndicate on James Crossley’s book, Jesus and the Chaos of History: Redirecting the Life of the Historical Jesus (2015).

The following critical responses to the book are available on the Syndicate website:

Symposium Introduction, by Chris Tilling.

“Historical Jesus, Epistemic Modesty”, by Helen Bond, November 23, 2015

Response by James Crossley, “Rethinking Upheaval: A Response to Helen Bond”, November 23, 2015

“How Chaotic is the Kingdom Tradition?” by Brent Driggers, November 25, 2015

Response by James Crossley, “The Dictatorship of God Is among You? A Response to Ira Brent Driggers”, November 25, 2015

Reply by Brent Driggers, “Clarifications and Further Questions”, November 25, 2015

Reply by James Crossley, “Imperialism or Liberation?”, December 12, 2015

“A Man in His Time”, by Rafael Rodríguez, November 30, 2015

Response by James Crossley, “Jesus and the Permanent Revolution? A Response to Rafael Rodriguez”, November 30, 2015

Sin, the Law, and Purity“, by Paula Fredricksen, December 2, 2015

Response by James Crossley, “Living Legally in End Times: A Response to Paula Fredriksen”, December 2, 2015

Jesus and Brian Conference: Monty Python’s Life of Brian and Biblical Scholarship

jesus-and-brian

The Jesus and Brian Conference explored “the historical Jesus and his times, via Monty Python’s Life of Brian“. The conference was held on Friday 20 June to Sunday 22 June 2014, at the Edmond J Safra Lecture Theatre, King’s College London. Videos from most of the talks are now available on YouTube (see below).

Monty Python’s Life of Brian provoked a furious response in some quarters when it first appeared in 1979, even leading to cries of ‘blasphemy’. However, many students and teachers of biblical literature were quietly, and often loudly, both amused and intrigued. Life of Brian in fact contains numerous references to what was then the cutting edge of biblical scholarship and Life of Jesus research, founded on the recognition of the historical Jesus as a Jew who needs to be understood within the context of his time. Implicitly, in setting ‘Brian’ within the tumultuous social and political background of his age, Life of Brian sets Jesus within it also. It assumes the audience has some knowledge of the gospel accounts, which directly inform the comedy.

Ever since Philip Davies first wrote on the film 15 years ago, other scholars too have turned their gaze to consider exactly what Life of Brian does in regard to Jesus scholarship, and have increasingly delved into its curious corners to reflect on what it says both about the tumultuous times of Jesus and also contemporary scholarly discussions. Biblical scholarship has moved on greatly in the past 25 years, and various aspects of Life of Brian correlate with themes now intensely explored. Every Bible scholar knows what ‘blessed are the cheese-makers’ means!

Session One

Professor Joan E. Taylor (King’s College London): Welcome Address and Introduction: ‘The Historical Brian

Professor Martin Goodman (University of Oxford): ‘The Life of Brianand the Politics of First-Century Judea’

Professor George Brooke (University of Manchester): ‘Brian as a Teacher of Righteousness’

Interview with John Cleese and Terry Jones, with Richard Bauckham

Session Two

Professor Bill Telford (Durham University): ‘Monty Python’s Life of Brian and the Jesus Film

Professor Philip Davies and Prof. James Crossley (University of Sheffield): ‘Monty Python’s Life of Jesus

Session Three

Dr Helen Bond (University of Edinburgh): ‘You’ll Probably Get Away With Crucifixion’: Laughing at the Cross in Brian and the Ancient World

Dr Guy Stiebel (Hebrew University of Jerusalem): ‘Romani Ite Domum: Identity and Expressions of Resistance in Judaea

Session Four

Professor Steve Mason (University of Aberdeen): ‘What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us? Brian and Josephus on Anti-Roman Sentiment

Professor Paula Fredriksen (Boston University): ‘Are you a Virgin? Biblical Exegesis and the Invention of Tradition’

Session Five

Dr David Shepherd (Trinity College Dublin): ‘When Brian met Moses: The Life of Brian (1979) Wholly Moses (1980) and the ‘failure’ of biblical parody

Dr Aaron Rosen (King’s College London): ‘Laughing at Brian, Laughing at Christ: Some Reflections on Film and Modern Art

Session Six

Katie Turner (King’s College London): ‘”The Shoe is the Sign“:The Costuming of the Life of Brian and the Clothing of First-Century Judaeans’

Professor Amy-Jill Levine (Vanderbilt University): ‘Beards for Sale: The Uncut Version of Brian, Gender and Sexuality

Session Seven

Professor Bart Ehrman (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill): ‘Brian and the Apocalyptic Jesus

Professor Adele Reinhartz (University of Ottawa): ‘Hook-nosed Heebies: Brian, Jesus, and Jewish Identity

Session Eight

Revd. Canon Professor Richard Burridge (King’s College London):‘The Church of England’s Life of Python–Or, What the Bishop Saw’

Dr David Tollerton (University of Exeter): ‘Blasphemy! On Free Speech Then and Now

(no video provided by Kings College)

Update (September 10, 2015): The book of the conference is now available:

jesus-and-brian-book