Description: The New Testament has four Gospels, three of which share a common view of Jesus’ life and ministry, his passion and death. These three Gospels are Matthew, Mark, and Luke and are known as the Synoptic Gospels. Our study of the Synoptic Gospels will examine their historical context within late Second Temple Judaism, the distinctive literary features of each Gospel, and their distinct theological perspectives. This course will introduce students to the ‘synoptic problem,’ a way of referring to the scholarly investigation into how these three Gospels are related to one another. Students will use a synopsis (parallel Gospel text) and discuss common solutions to the synoptic problem. This course will discuss how the differently-abled body is presented in the Gospel texts and how these passages can be imagined and actualized for readers and hearers of the Gospels today. This semester our Synoptic Gospels course is part of the Science for Seminaries grant, thus there will be an additional focus on integrating the mind and the body as we think about how the Gospels present Jesus’ ministry of healing. We will use the insights from cognitive science to think about how the Gospel narratives invite readers to imagine and mentally enact the scenes of healing that are being described.
Science areas: NeuroscienceSynoptic Gospels (Harkins)