Apologies of Socrates and Gospels of Jesus

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The lives and deaths of Socrates and Jesus had some remarkable parallels. Both were charismatic teachers claiming to be on divine missions. Both were executed by the ruling elites they challenged. And both were vindicated in the writings of their disciples. This course will explore these and other parallels by reading and discussing two Apologies (Defenses) of Socrates, one by Xenophon and one by Plato, and a number of gospels, some that made it into the New Testament and some that didn’t. In addition to examining the teachings of each figure, we will consider how each one’s calling and legacy is portrayed in the various accounts. The two Apologies of Socrates will be supplemented by selected other dialogues by Xenophon and Plato related to the death of Socrates.

Texts
  • New Testament
  • Ehrman, Lost Scriptures: Books that Did Not Make It into the New Testament
  • Plato, Complete Dialogues
  • Xenophon, Conversations of Socrates

Archive

TAUGHT: WINTER 2006, AUTUMN 2009, SPRING 2010, SPRING 2014, 
        NOVEMBER 2016, SPRING 2018