Perry Kea has been a Fellow of Westar since 1987. He wrote an article last year in the Fourth R, that outlines the history of the Jesus Seminar in light of the larger historical scope of the quest for the historical Jesus. His article is entitled The Road to the Jesus Seminar. Here is an excerpt:
The quest for the historical Jesus was a product of the Enlightenment. The Enlightenment was an intellectual movement in eighteenth-century Europe and North America that promoted reason as the sole standard for establishing matters of truth. The ramifications were enormous. The political underpinnings of the American and French revolutions were established by Enlightenment figures (for example, Locke and Voltaire). The scientific method was born out of the Enlightenment. The privileging of reason over other modes of knowledge (such as tradition) meant that history was brought "down to earth" so to speak. The reasons why things happened in the past had to be sought within the space-time continuum of human life without appeals to divine agency. Just as the scientist could not appeal to supernatural forces to explain natural events, so the Enlightenment historian could not claim that historical events happened because "God so willed it." The Fourth RPerry Kea chairs the Philosophy and Religion Deparatment at the University of Indianapolis. Both Perry and Hal Taussig will be our speakers at the Jesus Seminar on the Road at our congregation next weekend.
Westar is not affiliated with any church. Some of the Fellows are involved in faith communites, others are not. Both Perry and Hal are active United Methodists. I featured Hal earlier in his role as a pastor.
They will be talking about faith communities in the first and twenty-first centuries. There will be a lecture Friday evening from 7:30-9 p.m. On Saturday, we will have two workshops from
9:30 to noon and from 1:30-4:00. You can attend one, two or all three workshops. If you have not yet registered you can do so by calling toll free (877) 523-3545 or on-line. You can, of course, register at the door.
We have about 50 or so who have already pre-registered. Some from as far away as Lexington, KY and McLean, Virginia. I look forward to a great weekend!