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Reverend Dr. Ivan Head on Jesus


11 September 2006

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There is a slight irony in including Jesus as one figure in a series of great thinkers. In part, this lecture addresses how Jesus relates to a tradition of great thinkers, and why he is a little out of place when positioned amidst 'the intellectuals'. It also notes the fact that approaches to Jesus and his teaching have always been burdened with theoretical considerations that have often painted him a chameleon figure adapted to the spirit of any age and many agendas.

In this lecture, Reverend Dr. Ivan Head, Rector of the St. Paul's College at the University of Sydney, presents Jesus first as a teacher for his own times, rather than as a source of 'universal wisdom'. The challenge is to recover and sustain a critical memory of the man's teachings so as not to allow him to be a cipher at the centre of others' teachings nor subject to those who seek to control the franchise.

The RIHSS Key Thinkers Public Lecture Series explores the lives and works of figures who have changed the way we think about and view our world. Presented by local scholars with a particular expertise in a relevant field of study, lectures will place their subjects within their individual social and intellectual contexts and summarise the central issues of their work.

Other upcoming lectures in the series:

13 September - Lynne Segal - Professor Raewyn Connell

20 September - Cornelius Castoriadis - Associate Professor Vrasidas Karalis

4 October - Walter Benjamin - Dr. Melissa Hardie

11 October - Norbert Elias - Associate Professor Robert Van Krieken

18 October - Karl Marx - Dr. John Buchanan