Thursday, 25 April 2013

Jesus through the eyes of other cultures and Faiths.

A series of talks by Rev’d Dr John Parry

Tuesdays at 7.30 p.m.

April, 23, 30; May 7, 14, 21; June 4, 11, 2013

Deanway United Church, Chalfont St Giles

23 April         An over-view

We consider first the way in which the figure of Jesus has been presented in other parts of the world very much as a Westerner, reflecting our own culture and values. We’ll explore briefly each of the talks in the series through paintings, poetry and hymns and other writings.

30 April         African responses

How do African Christians respond to this figure of Jesus Christ?  We consider Jesus the Chief, the Ancestor, the Healer and Guide.  Then we need to explore the concept of Ubuntu – the recognition that the individual is part of something far greater than him or herself.  What does the ‘Body of Christ’ mean in the light of this concept?

07 May         Isa - the Muslim Christ

If you talk with Muslims they will affirm their belief in ‘all the Prophets’ including Jesus, known to Muslims as Isa.  So, what do they believe about him and the Virgin Birth? What was his message?  What relationship did he have with God?  And … what is this Trinity?

14 May         The ‘unbound’ Christ of India

Missionaries have been in India for quite a number of centuries.  The consequence is that Hindus have analysed the figure of Jesus of Nazareth through their own conceptual framework – we do the same thing when we’re confronted by things from different cultures.  Amongst other issues we’ll explore the ‘unbound’ Christ, that is, the Christ liberated, as they see it, from the ‘shackles’ of the Western Church.

21 May         Christian Indians respond to Jesus the Christ

But with the response we’ve seen above, how do Christian Indians respond.  Is it possible to be both Indian and Christian?  Of course it is!  But how?  There’s another issue here, that of the Dalit community, once known as ‘outcastes’.  What does the figure of Jesus crucified outside the city gate have to say to them?

28 May         It’s half-term.  We all get a break!

04 June        Jesus Christ through a Sikh’s eyes

Very few people express interest in the Sikh community – it’s a great pity.  Here’s a group of people who are monotheists, who live by and through the grace of God and who seek justice and integrity of faith.  A Sikh poet wrote a fascinating epic poem about Jesus of Nazareth – we explore that.

11 June        The Jewish Jesus

Our final meeting will consider the Jewish Jesus – that’s exactly what he was.  How does the Jewish community deal with this being who is so intriguing yet so divisive?

Enquiries to:   John Parry: 01494 872747.

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