Robert Gregg's Davis Lecture in Christianity: The Death of Jesus: Comparing Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Accounts

September 27, 2016
Thursday, November 10, 2016 - 4:30pm
165 Thompson
Robert Gregg

Robert Gregg is a Professor of Religious Studies and, by courtesy, Classics (Emeritus) at Stanford. Please join us for Dr. Gregg's lecture "The Death of Jesus: Comparing Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Accounts."

Abstract

All three religions’ representations of how Jesus/Yeshu/`Isa died, developed over centuries, promoted very different understandings and valuations of the event itself, its aftermath, and its significance. At stake in these competing narratives were claims about messiahship,  prophethood, divine sonship—and God’s favored people. A close weighing side-by-side of (a) select Christian interpretations of the meanings of Jesus’s death in Gospels, creeds, and art, (b) two Jewish writings--a parody of the life of Yeshu/Jesus and a 7th century apocalypse announcing the imminent appearance of the messiah, Menahem, and (c) alternative treatments of `Isa’s/Jesus’s death in the Qur’an, among its interpreters, and in Muslim paintings, lays bare numerous elaborations of viewpoint and argument. A sharp case of the kind of story or teaching that contributed to the divergence and independent existence of Judaism, Christianity and Islam as religions, this exploration at the same time underlines a shared, and core, eschatological mentality: a day of judgment approaches. 

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