New course: "Jesus and Judaism" (RELS 231)

New Course - "Jesus and Judaism" (Phil Webster, RELS 231, TTh 10:30am, Fall 2014, U.Penn): Was Jesus a Christian? Was he Jewish? And if Christianity’s founder was Jewish, what does that mean for his Christianness? What does it mean for Christianity, a religion that has often defined itself as the fulfillment, if not just outright replacement, of Judaism? In the course we will explore both Jewish and Christian depictions of Jesus’ Jewishness, starting with the New Testament itself. We’ll look at ancient Jewish ideas about messiahs and early Christian discussions as well as denials of Jesus’ Jewishness. In addition to exploring ancient depictions of Jesus’ Jewishness, we’ll also take a look at modern debates and claims about the relationship between Jesus and Judaism and what that relationship can tell us about the natures of Christianity and Judaism.