Historical Jesus and God

A discussion group –Westar authors and others 

We are a group of people interested in questions that matter about religion in society today. Many of the books we have discussed were written for the public by
theologians associated with the Westar group (Jesus Seminar). These authors communicate the results of cutting-edge scholarship on the history and evolution of the Christian tradition and how that fits into important matters today.

If you are interested in pursuing this direction with us, you would be most welcome. We currently meet by Zoom once a month, generally on the second or third Friday of the month. We sign-in between 7:00 and 7:15 and then have our discussion from 7:15 – 9:00 p.m.  Books are read over several months and one of the members facilitates the discussion. Contact Elaine Wunderlich for more information. She is listed in the Riderwood Resident Directory, available at your front desk, or online at MyErickson.

History of the Westar Institute and the Jesus Seminar

Westar Institute, created in 1985 is dedicated to: advancing scholarship on the history and evolution of the Christian tradition, and addressing the results of scholarship to questions that matter in society and culture. The Jesus Seminar was Westar’s first and best-known project. It was organized to discover and report a scholarly consensus on the historical authenticity of the sayings and deeds attributed to Jesus in the gospels. In the judgment of the Jesus Seminar, 18 percent of the sayings and 16 percent of the deeds are authentic. These findings, along with the public nature of the seminar system, led to widespread public debate.

The Jesus Seminar (1985-1998), examined the question: what difference does the historical Jesus make for contemporary self-understanding and culture? The work of the Jesus Seminar gives us a better understanding of Jesus’ teaching, and how it differs from the proclamation of the early churches. These results offer contemporary religious thought and the opportunity to move forward toward increasing awareness and understanding of God, our relationship to our world and universe and our human future.

Westar Seminars. Westar Institute fosters large and small-scale collaborative projects to examine questions about religion that matter. More than 200 scholars of religion, called Fellows, have participated in the Jesus Seminar and other Westar projects since 1985.  Westar scholars are now conducting seminars on the origins of the Christian tradition and God and the human future. Further information on Westar Institute and Seminars can be found on www.westarinstitute.org.