Fall 2023


Listed in: Religion, as RELI-175


Matthew Westermayer (Section 01)


Who was Jesus of Nazareth? How was he remembered? What are the social and political implications of telling stories about Jesus’s life and teachings? This course explores the origins of the founder of Christianity, and the evolution of Jesus the Jew from northern Judea to Jesus the divine man, esoteric teacher, and cultural icon. We will read texts from the New Testament, as well as the texts that were excluded, such as the Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Judas. Our primary aim is to think through the various ways that Jesus was remembered, both within and outside of Christianity. We will also study how different groups adapted stories about Jesus for political, theological, and social issues. In addition to reading ancient literature, we will study early depictions of Jesus in art and material culture. Students will cultivate insights into not only the contested origins of Christianity, but also the challenges of historical memory and representation. 

Fall semester. Visiting Assistant Professor Westermayer.

Pending Faculty Approval

How to handle overenrollment: null

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: There will be an emphasis on written work, in-class writing, readings, independent research, oral presentations, and group work.

RELI 175 - LEC

Section 01
M 12:30 PM - 1:50 PM CHAP 210
W 12:30 PM - 1:50 PM CHAP 210

ISBN Title Publisher Author(s) Comment Book Store Price
Understanding Early Christian Art Routledge, 1st ed. (February 17, 2000) Jensen, Robin M Required Amherst Books TBD
Jesus at the Movies: A Guide to the First Hundred Years Polebridge Pr Westar Inst; Rev. ed. (January 1, 2004) Tatum, W. Barnes Required Amherst Books TBD
The Other Gospels: Accounts of Jesus from Outside the New Testament OUP, 1st ed. (December 18, 2013) Ehrman, Bart D. Required Amherst Books TBD
The jewish Annotated New Testament OUP, 2nd ed. (September 6, 2017) Levine & Brettler Required Amherst Books TBD

These books are available locally at Amherst Books.


Other years: Offered in Fall 2023