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Christianity Inside-Out

Led by Executive Director, Dr. Celene Lillie

The story of early Christianity often gets told as one of insiders and outsiders, as one of orthodoxy or heresy.  But, the more historians explore the world of the early Christians the messier the story seems.  What did the first generations of Jesus followers believe?  What were the questions they were addressing?  What’s at stake for us today in the ways we tell the story of the beginnings of the Jesus movement? 

Please join Dr. Celene Lillie and the Tanho Center for this Fall 2017 four-week, donation-based class exploring the world of early Christianity. Classes will be held at First United Methodist Church of Boulder (1421 Spruce St. Boulder, CO). Make your donation and reserve your place at the bottom of this page.

Week One, October 2Orthodoxy, Heresy, and Gnosticism:  This class will take a look at the history of orthodoxy, heresy, and gnosticism.  What work did the labels of orthodoxy, heresy, and gnosticism do?  Why are these labels important?  What do these labels obscure about the texts?  What happens when we explore the texts of early christianity as a field of play, rather than items to be catalogued or placed into discreet boxes?

Week Two, October 9Eve, Adam, and the Rulers:  The story of Adam and Eve was used as a resource by Jews and early Jesus followers to think about their worlds.   This class will look at several retellings of the Adam and Eve story found in Nag Hammadi, Egypt in 1945, including the Reality of the Rulers and On the Origin of the World.  How do these retellings of the creation of the world help us think about the world of those writing these books in the 2nd Century C.E.?  

Week Three, October 16The Gospel of MaryThe Gospel of Mary has received wide attention as the only gospel attributed to a woman.  What does the Gospel of Mary mean?  What does the Gospel of Mary tell us about early followers of Jesus? What might be at stake not only for those writing this gospel, but those using it as a resource as well?

Week Four, October 23The Gospel of TruthThe Gospel of Truth is a book which may have been written by the 2nd

Century church leader Valentinus—once up for the position of bishop of Rome, then labeled a heretic.  This class will explore the sensual imagery of the Gospel of Truth, which references books from Genesis to the letters of Paul, to explore the way this work of early Jesus followers used the senses as way to be in relationship with one another and with God.

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