4 sessions of audio lectures plus written materials/exercises/ readings
This course traces the earliest origins of the religion that came to be known as Christianity, examining the Essene, Gnostic and pagan influences that colored the development of Paul’s thought as he wrote the 7 authentically-Pauline epistles. We examine the historicity of the life of Jesus, and consider the role of Mary and the influence of the goddess in the earliest records, which the later orthodox canon removed. The human side of how Christianity developed is also examined. Prior familiarity with the Gnostic gospels is helpful, but not required.