The Department of Religious Studies
Brown Bag Lunch Colloquium Series
University of Pittsburgh
Visiting Lecturer, Department of Religious Studies, University of Pittsburgh
“And we got to get ourselves back to the garden.”
(“Woodstock,” Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young)
“It took Jesus a thousand years to die. Images of his corpse did not appear in churches until the tenth century.”
With this opening gambit, Rita Brock and Rebecca Parker have presented an in-depth analysis of the art and literature of ancient Christianity in “Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire.” Simply put, they claim that their evidence demonstrates that the central tenent of ancient Christianity for a thousand years, that of manifesting God’s “kingdom” on earth (Eden), was replaced by a much later theology that stressed warrior emperors and empire, largely influenced by the art and religious narratives of violence and suffering of northern Europe.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
144 Cathedral of Learning
Rebecca Denova specializes in early Christianity and is the author of ‘The Things Accomplished Among Us’: Prophetic Tradition in the Structural Pattern of Luke-Acts (Sheffield, 1997) and “A Historical and Literary Understanding of the Passion Narratives in the Gospels” (in Passionate Dialogues: Critical Perspectives on Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, which she co-edited with Daniel Burton, Mise, 2005). She is currently working on the historicity of alleged Jewish “persecution” against Christians in the first century. Prior to teaching at Pitt, Dr. Denova was associate professor of religious studies at Bethany College.