Instructor: Richard Carrier, PhD, philosopher, historian, and author
Instructor: John Shook, PhD, CFI director of education and AHA education coordinator
This one-month, four-module seminar course will examine the
question of whether Jesus existed, surveying the historical evidence and
testing alterative theoretical answers.
four-module short course, running from July 1 to July 31, examines the methods
of historians, their relationship to the leading theories about the historical
Jesus, and the available evidence both for and against his existence, and
teaches students how best to evaluate arguments on either side (including how
to check facts, spot fallacies, and avoid bad arguments).
- The methods of historians and how to tell good history from bad
- The evidence for the historicity of Jesus and its context and value
- The most credible theories of the evidence (both supporting historicity and not)
- The best criticisms and responses to those theories
Readings: Proving History: Bayes’s
Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus (2012) by Richard Carrier.
Students will purchase their own copy of Carrier’s book. Additional readings are
provided electronically to students inside the instructional area, along with supplemental
audio/visual materials, all available online at no extra cost.
Richard Carrier, PhD, is
the renowned author of Sense
and Goodness without God and Not
the Impossible Faith, as well as numerous articles online and
in print. He received his PhD in ancient history from Columbia University in
2008, and now specializes in the modern philosophy of naturalism, the origins
of Christianity, and the intellectual history of Greece and Rome. For more
about him and his work visit www.richardcarrier.info.
John Shook, PhD, is Director of Education and Senior
Research Fellow at the Center for Inquiry, and also Education
Coordinator for the American Humanist Association. He is on
the faculty of the Science and
the Public EdM program at the University at Buffalo. From 2000 to 2006 John
was professor of philosophy at Oklahoma State University. His recent book is The God Debates, and he blogs at www.centerforinquiry.net/blogs/jshook
About CFI Institute Online Courses:
CFI 200-level courses are taught at an intellectual level
equivalent to an introductory college course. We expect students to participate
in the class discussion at their own chosen pace, and there are no other
writing requirements and no grading. These classes are entirely online
— everything for the course except the book is provided on a CFI website.
You will read the course lectures, follow links to other webpages, ask your
questions, and participate in class discussion with the instructors and other
students on our website.
There is no specific time that you must be online. There
is no "live" part to these courses, and you cannot miss anything even
if you can only get online at 6am or 11pm — you can log in and participate
anytime, day or night, 24/7. A certificate of course completion is available to
students who do participate online (as opposed to only lurking and reading,
which is also an unobjectionable option for some students). Completion of eight
courses at the Expertise 200-level is rewarded with the Institute's
Certificate of Expertise.
Online courses are now jointly advertised by the Center for Inquiry and the American Humanist Association, and both
organizations encourage their members and affiliates to consider taking them.
Online courses are the most visible sign that CFI and the AHA have entered a
cooperative relationship on some educational programming. That cooperation is
facilitated by Dr. John Shook, who now serves as education coordinator for both
CFI and AHA.
This is a one-month course, running from July 1st, 2012 through July 31st, 2012.
Cost: $70 for general registration; $60 for Friends of the Center; or $30 for college students (valid .edu email address required).
Additional questions? Contact the CFI Institute for further information.
We're sorry, the deadline for registering for this event has passed.