December 22, 2014
Fall 2014 Christianity Seminar
Denise Buell at the Fall 2014 Meeting
Happy Holidays!


This season offers a chance to celebrate joy, reciprocity, and the messy but wonderful fact of community. Thank you for being a part of ours. 

With best wishes for wherever your own intellectual and spiritual journeys take you in the coming year,

The Westar Team

Scholars Weigh the Pros and Cons

The Christianity Seminar


Before Nag Hammadi, some of the best historical resources available were "catalogues" of what certain ancient people considered "wrong" or "flawed" teaching. Unfortunately, scholars consciously or unconsciously took up the biases of these catalogues along with the content and lumped them all under the term "gnosticism." Is redeeming gnosticism possible anymore?


The Seminar on God and the Human Future


The inaugural Seminar on God and the Human Future invited scholars from past Seminars to field questions about the visions of God they found in their historical work, as well as what of their own philosophical and theological assumptions came out in their research. The responses were as candid as we hoped they would be.


Hal Taussig | A New New Testament


Why were certain books excluded from the New Testament? "The stunning truth is that we have hardly any evidence of the process of how the canon was made. By and large, we don't even have evidence for the character of the debate," explains Westar Fellow Hal Taussig in his presentation A New New Testament. "The most we have is an individual scholar saying, 'I like this book; I don't like that one.'" 


Raheel Raza | 
Politics, Patriarchy and Power


"Islam is in the spotlight, like a deer frozen in the headlights of a car. Since 9/11 especially, there has been no stone left unturned in scrutinizing each aspect of the faith by both experts and pseudo-experts," stated award-winning Muslim activist Raheel Raza at her presentation Politics, Patriarchy, and Power: When the Word of God Goes Wrong. "This work is being done at two levels. One of course is the very important scholarly, academic level ... but what you don't normally see is the work being done at the grassroots level, by the activists ... to light a fire under the feet of religious leadership to bring about change." 


Winter logo
Fall 2014 Resources


Keep a relative, friend, clergy person, or seminarian up-to-date on scholarship about religion 

"We have an ethical obligation as scholars of the New Testament to do what we can to share with people what we have learned about the history of the Christian tradition, and how such knowledge can inform our interest in living the good life--life according to the good--today." 
Roy Hoover
Westar Fellow

Jason BeDuhn at the Fall 2014 Meeting
Westar Fellow and Polebridge author Jason BeDuhn fielded questions about his book The First New Testament: Marcion's Scriptural Canon for the Society of Biblical Literature Luke-Acts panel.