Religious Life Seminar | The Parting of the Ways: How & When Did Judaism & Christianity Become Different Religions?
The July 20 session will take place in the Wellness Center Drackett Hall.
Join Clemson University Associate Professor of Religion Dr. Ben White for two lectures based on his theme, “The Parting of the Ways: How & When Did Judaism & Christianity become Different Religions,” from 3-4:30 p.m. Monday, July 18 and Wednesday, July 20 at Drackett Hall.
Monday’s lecture, “Jesus was not a Christian (nor was Paul),” discusses that the word “Christian” is found only three times in the New Testament and is never used of Jesus or his earliest followers. White also describes the great diversity of expression of Judaism in the so-called Second Temple Period of Jewish history and how Jesus and his disciples fit, as Jews, within that matrix. Topics to be explored include Jewish theologies of the “end times,” expectations for a Messiah and how Torah (the Jewish Law) should be practiced in the midst of foreign cultural influences.
On Wednesday, White discusses in “The Birth of Christianity.” By the late second century Common Era, we find Christians blaming Jews for the death of Jesus and articulating a “replacement theology” that eventually undergirded Christian persecution of the Jews. White’s second lecture narrates the origins of the word “Christian” in the face of massive Jewish rejection of Jesus as their Messiah and the evolution of the movement into an increasingly “Gentile” phenomenon.
Topics explored include how two Jewish revolts against Rome helped to precipitate the separation of Judaism from Christianity, as well as the origins of Christian anti-Judaism and the balancing act with respect to Judaism that Gentile believers in Jesus had to perform.