‘In search of Jesus’ – Lent course with Brendan McCarthy

Wednesday February 3rd 2016

Brendan McCarthy will deliver a series of Lent talks in St Anne's Cathedral.

Brendan McCarthy will deliver a series of Lent talks in St Anne’s Cathedral.

The Rev Brendan McCarthy returns to St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast, for a fourth series of seminars with this series entitled ‘In Search of Jesus.’

This gets underway on Wednesday February 17 at 7.30pm and continues on Wednesday evenings for six weeks.

The course explores the relationships between the Christ of faith, the Jesus of faith and the Jesus of history and asks the questions, what do we know and what might we reasonably believe about Jesus? As with previous courses, all opinions are welcomed and respected, and Brendan describes this as ‘an exploration, not a devotional study.’

The course programme is as follows:

Session 1: History and Faith: We examine the various interpretations of  ‘ The Christ of Faith’ and ask whether various constructions of ‘The Jesus of History’ are really faith statements. Does the ‘Jesus of History’ exist even if there was an ‘historical Jesus’?

Session 2: Unpeeling the Onion: We track back through history, examining the layers of interpretation that emerged from the Enlightenment, the Reformation, Medieval Scholars and the Post-Constantine Church.

Session 3: Biblical Pictures: We look at how close the New Testament can get us to the historical Jesus, examining Paul’s epistles, the Gospels and the emergence of ‘proto-orthodoxy’ in the second century.

Session 4: Crossroads: We look at the place of belief in ‘the cross and the resurrection’ and examine the interplay between event and interpretation.

Session 5: Just the Facts: We look at what might reasonably be asserted as known facts about Jesus and the emergence of the Christian Church and Faith

Session 6: Reasonable Belief: We look at ways in which the facts outlined in session five enable various beliefs about Jesus to develop. In particular we examine orthodox, post-orthodox and humanist belief about Jesus.

Brendan McCarthy has a primary degree in divinity as well as Master’s degrees in theology, history and human rights law and a doctorate in Christian Ethics.  He is an ordained Anglican Priest and is currently the Church of England’s national adviser on Medical Ethics and Health and Social Care Policy.

His previous seminars in St Anne’s were:

  • The God Enquiry – October 2014
  • Christian Ethics – March 2015
  • Of What Earthly Use is the Bible? – September 2015

The course fee is £50. A registration form can be downloaded on the Belfast Cathedral website.

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