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PCNV & ST MICHAEL'S UNITING CHURCH - PROFESSOR HAL TAUSSIG VISIT

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St Michael's Uniting Church

Cnr Collins & Russell Streets

Melbourne, Victoria 3000

Australia

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Professor Hal Taussig

Professor Hal Taussig, one of the leading theologians of the late 20th & early 21st centuries, is to tour Australia & New Zealand in October & November this year under the Common Dreams on the Road banner.

Hal has recently retired as Visiting Professor of New Testament at Union Theological Seminary, New York where he taught masters & doctoral level studies. He is Professor of Early Christianity at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia. He has also retired from 30+ years as a United Methodist pastor & now is specially assigned by his bishop as a consultant to local congregations. Hal is co-chair of the Society of Biblical Literature’s Consultation on Greco-Roman meals, & on the steering committees of SBL’s Seminar on Modern Theories & Ancient Myths of Christian Origins and the Greco-Roman Meals Consultation.

Professor Taussig is a foundation fellow of the Westar Institute & participated in that Institute’s celebrated Jesus Seminar. He is currently co-chair of Westar’s Christianity Seminar. Among his 14 published books are A New New Testament: A Bible for the 21stCentury & Newly Discovered Texts (2013); A New Spiritual Home: Progressive Christianity at the Grass Roots (2006); & Re-imagining Life Together in America: A New Gospel of Community (2002).

“Eating Together, Talking Together, Living in Community: What the Early Christian Movement Can Teach Us”

The dynamic beginnings of the early Jesus communities are legendary but sometimes forgotten or contested. There is a widespread misconception in the Church that the “Jesus Movement” during the two or three centuries after Jesus’ crucifixion was recognisably similar to modern mainstream Christianity. This is not the case & before a recognisable Christianity emerged there was wide diversity in the forms these communities took & in their practices, beliefs & the way they lived – partly as a protest against Roman imperialism & partly as communities of mutual support. The challenges these progenitors of Christianity faced are instructive to us as the modern Church searches for ways to remake itself so that it is relevant in addressing the issues facing today’s society. Professor Taussig will present a compelling perspective on this subject which is informed by his extensive research over several decades.

Friday Evening Lecture:

Re-Thinking the Christ Movements of the First Two Centuries:

The Friday night lecture anticipates and introduces the amazing diversity, social innovation, and humor-filled challenge to Roman imperialism that the four Saturday lectures will deepen. This is a stunning challenge to the conventional picture of the so-called “early churches.”

Saturday Lectures:

1.The Messy Mix of Early Christ Movement Texts:

Both conventional Christianity and secular culture assume that the New Testament fell fully-formed to earth and hit someone on the head shortly after Jesus died. This lecture shows how no such thing as a Christian canon could have happened before the fifth century CE.

2. Replacing the Notions of an Orthodoxy-Heresy Story of How Christianity Began:

There is a presumptuous narrative inherent in most secular and Christian understandings which assumes a single line of tradition, belief, and story that was handed down from God to Jesus to the unified apostles to the loyal and orthodox bishops to traditional Christianity in our day. This lecture brings an historical approach which contradicts this master narrative with diverse portraits of two centuries of loose connections, no central authority, and wildly imaginative literature by women and men.

3. Wild & Humour-filled Early Christ Supper Clubs

Taussig unfolds a rich tapestry of ecstatic, humorous, fairly inclusive, and contentious festive meals that served as early Christ group “worship” throughout the Mediterranean world. Undoing the conventional picture of these groups in and as “churches,” this lecture shows how imaginative, diverse, and passionate these festive meal-groups were, and elaborates how they formed a core of unconventional spiritual practice.

4. The Strangeness of Early Christ Groups

This lecture portrays the early Christ groups as inherently diffuse, disorganized, and fascinated by identities that overlapped and resisted uniformity. In this view, it is pretentious to think that Christianity itself existed within the first two centuries. Rather, Christianity per se is at earliest a creation of the third through fifth centuries

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St Michael's Uniting Church

Cnr Collins & Russell Streets

Melbourne, Victoria 3000

Australia

View Map

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 7 days before event

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