Friday, October 9, 2015


I'm teaching a course at the Lifelong Learning Institute at U.Conn. in Waterbury on the Gnostic Christian writings.

It meets from 12:30-2, which means people are eating during class, but that doesn't matter. It's an awful time to teach and learn, but it works.

Whenever I teach a short (5 class) version of Mary Magdalene or a 5 or 10 session of The Gospel of John or  'reading the Gospels side by side', I know I'll have the same number of students at the last class as at the first.

When I do Gnostic Christian writing, I fully expect to loose half the class at some point. They just don't know how jarring it's going to be.

But we're half way through and haven't lost anyone.

This material is challenging. The 'so called' Gnostic Christians were ran out of the church in the 4th and 5th centuries and their writings destroyed.

But in 1947 a bunch of them were found in Egypt.

That's what I teach. Christianity was a lot more diverse than we ever knew. I tell those hardy folks that we are living in a new Pre-Nicene era--a time before things in Christianity got 'nailed down' and Christianity wasn't the cultural norm it was for so many centuries in the west.

What on earth do Mormons and Seventh Day Adventists and Southern Baptists and Greek Orthadox Christians and Methodists and Episcopalians and Roman Catholics have in common besides calling themselves "Christians"? Apparently that was true for the first 3 or 4 centuries of the common era, we now know because of the literature from the Nag Hammadi discovery.

Lordy, Lordy, I love to teach. And, in spite of my doubts, I'm good at it. And people stick around, in spite of how weird the material is....

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.