Images of JesusCourse Level: Basic

Course Summary

Note: It is advisable to have taken Introduction to Scripture before taking attempting this course.

(The former title of this course was "Jesus") Through this course the participant will have the opportunity to examine, from a variety of theological perspectives, what we know and believe about the central figure of the Christian faith and arguably the most influential person who ever walked the earth. After looking at many different resources, the student will be able to form a personal answer to "Who do you say that I am?"

Successful completion of this course earns 2.5 CEU's. Click here for more information about CEU's.

General Course Objectives

  • Describe one of the key images of Jesus that emerge from a careful reading of the Gospels
  • Discuss some of the new issues in Christology and how they relate to contemporary cultural issues
  • Analyze the links between the Jesus we find in the Gospels and the presence of Christ in the Church's liturgy

Course Materials

  • No books required. All readings are online.

Course Structure and Highlights

  • Week 1: The Many Images of Jesus
    • Describe the key images of Jesus that emerge from a careful reading of the Gospels
    • Describe the five historical periods in the development of the Church's beliefs about Jesus
    • Describe their personal image of Jesus and explain why this image is needed within their own cultural context
    • Understand the vocabulary of Christology (High Christology, Low Christology)
    • Discuss some of the new issues in Christology and how they relate to contemporary cultural issues
  • Week 2: Jesus' Message in the New Testament
    • Explain the cultural and historical context in which Jesus' message about the Kingdom of God was shared
    • Have a richer appreciation and understanding of the phrase "thy Kingdom come" in the the prayer Jesus taught us, the Our Father
    • Reflect on some possible meanings of the message of the Kingdom of God in our contemporary culture
  • Week 3: Jesus in Today's Theology
    • Explain the role of biblical criticism and research in the search for the historical Jesus.
    • Enrich their understanding of the Beatitudes as the heart of Jesus' preaching and our Christian vocation.
    • Recognize how Jesus' attitudes toward women and the natural world challenge the society and the Church today.
  • Week 4: Jesus and the Paschal Mystery
    • Explain the circumstances-historical, cultural and political-that led to Jesus' death on the cross.
    • Articulate the meaning of the term: Paschal Mystery.
    • Describe some of the lessons that the Paschal Mystery teaches us about suffering and death.
    • Realize the importance of the Resurrection in Christian story.
  • Week 5: Our Liturgical Life: Encounters with Jesus
    • Articulate the four ways that Christ is present in the Eucharist.
    • Understand that participation in the celebration of the Eucharist is an important part of our becoming the Body of Christ -- as individuals and as a community.
    • Analyze the links between the Jesus we find in the Gospels and the presence of Christ in the Church's liturgy, particularly the Eucharist.