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Wrestling with Jesus

This discussion-based class will wrestle with the most wide-ranging questions about Jesus. Did he actually exist? Was he the Messiah? Human? Divine? A combination of the two? Have Jesus and his message changed over the centuries, shaped by historical changes in Catholic and Protestant theology and society at large? The contributions of guest presenters of diverse backgrounds along with active participation by class members will be at the heart of a stimulating educational experience. All points of view and beliefs will be respected in a spirit of constructive sharing.

A little background. The two motivations for creating this course: 1. My personal Jewish journey with Jesus, from negative beginnings to tentative acceptance of him as a great Jewish prophet; 2. My reading of Catholic cultural critic James Carroll’s Constantine’s Sword: The Church and the Jews, a National Book Award Winner. Both experiences involved challenging wrestling matches, personal and political, with Jesus. So I encourage you to join me and our guest presenters in probing core questions and issues about Jesus.

BOB BERSSON taught at James Madison University as an art professor from 1980 – 2003. He has been a member of the JMU Honors College and a Lifelong Learning Institute instructor since 2003. He was also a founding member of the Interfaith Initiative for Peace and Justice and Jewish Scholar in Residence from 2010 – 2015. Since 2015, Bob has served as an arts series organizer for Eastern Mennonite University’s Center for Interfaith Engagement. Bob is an artist, musician, writer.

Please contact our office regarding availability of this course: