Grand Forks, ND

Jan 31-Feb 1, 2020

Learning to understand and talk about Jesus as a historical figure opens many new questions in religion today. Some of these questions will be discussed in this Jesus Seminar on the Road event entitled, “The Historical Jesus and World Religion.” What relationship did Jesus have to the imperial powers of Rome that were shaped and promoted through Roman religious iconography, foundational stories, and practices? To what extent did Jesus liberate himself from the assumptions of his time and to what extent was he caught up in the customs of his time? How does Jesus compare to other great figures from the world’s religions? These and other questions that the historical Jesus inspires will be address with two Westar scholars, Celene Lillie and David Galston.

David Galston (Ph.D., McGill University) is the Executive Director of the Westar Institute and Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at Brock University. David has written several articles and led many workshops on the questions of the historical Jesus, the future of Christianity, and the problems of Christian theology in light of the historical Jesus. He is the author of God's Human Future (Polebridge, 2016), Embracing the Human Jesus (Polebridge Press, 2012), and Archives and the Event of God (McGill-Queens Press, 2011).

Celene Lillie (Ph.D., Union Theological Seminary) is on the pastoral staff at Boulder First United Methodist Church in Colorado. She is the author of several books, including The Rape of Eve: The Transformation of Roman Ideology in Three Early Christian Retellings of Genesis (2017).

Program Details

Friday Evening 7:30-9:00 pm
Celene Lillie and David Galston

Jesus, Empire, and the Promise of Religion
An introductory look at how religion is both a product and challenge of imperial forms of power.


Saturday Morning 9:30-10:30 am
Celene Lillie

Pluralism and Danger: Not Even Jesus was Innocent
The Syrophoenician woman’s story in the Gospel of Mark raises interesting and remarkable lessons about pluralism that even Jesus needed to learn.


Saturday Morning 11:00-noon
David Galston

How Does Jesus Compares: Wisdom in World Religion
What forms of wisdom did the historical Jesus use? How does Jesus compare to some other great wisdom teachers from the world’s religions?

Saturday Afternoon 1:30-2:30
Celene Lillie and David Galston

The Jesus Challenge: Wisdom and the Teaching of Vulnerability
The imperial powers of government can set the agenda for religion in the world, but sometimes religious figures or movements find ways to repent from the temptation to copy imperial power in theology.


Saturday 3:00-4:00 pm
After concluding statements, an open Q and A session with Celene and David



Christus Rex Lutheran Campus Center

University of North Dakota

Event Location

Christus Rex Lutheran Campus Center

3012 University Ave

Grand Forks, ND 58203

Local Contact and Information

Chad Brucklacher


All Sessions

  • Individual Rate $75
  • Pre-registration Rate (by January 17th) $60
  • Additional Family Members $50

Single Sessions

  • Friday Evening Lecture $20
  • Saturday Morning Workshop $30
  • Saturday Afternoon Workshop $30

Refunds are available until two weeks before the event if requested in writing, minus a $10 administrative fee. No refunds will be given after that date.

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