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How Early Christian Storytellers Exercised Creative License when Telling Tales about Jesus

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Nebojša Radić .

Many people assume that early Christian stories about Jesus were meant to be received as historically accurate accounts of things Jesus did and said. If two stories differ in detail, the later text is often interpreted as trying to correct or compete with the earlier account. But to what degree does this reading of the evidence reflect modern ideas about storytellers’ motivations and intent? This talk will discuss the portrayal of Jesus in some intriguing narratives from Late Antiquity. We will see that some storytellers apparently felt free to invent entirely new stories about Jesus, as well as offering creative “remakes” of traditional tales. What can we learn from this about how early Christians thought about Jesus, and about the role of “tradition” and “history” in their experience of “being Christian”?

This talk is part of the Darwin College Humanities and Social Sciences Group series.

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