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7:00 pm What Has the Historical Jesus to Do with the Church's Christ?

  • Duke University Durham, NC (map)

Perkins 217

Duke University

7:00 pm

A lecture by Br. Isaac Morales, OP (Dominican House of Studies)


Every year around Christmas and Easter, it seems, the media runs a story about “who Jesus really was.” Magazine articles and television specials purport to tell us the truth about the man from Nazareth – a truth, they often claim, that the Church has tried to cover up for centuries. These stories represent one popular manifestation of what has come to be known as the “quest for the historical Jesus.” While this quest is a legitimate scholarly discipline, it can sometimes unsettle believers, leading them to question the reliability of the gospels and the truth of the Church’s faith in Christ. In this talk, I will first consider a couple of the main presuppositions that underlie much historical Jesus scholarship. I will then discuss the nature of the gospels and their relation to history. Finally, I will offer a brief sketch of what we can know about Jesus based simply on historical research, arguing that a responsible historical sketch helps to illuminate the Church’s faith in Christ.


The youngest of four children, Br. Isaac Morales was born and raised in the northern suburbs of Chicago. He received a BSE in civil engineering from Duke University, an MTS with a concentration in biblical studies from the University of Notre Dame, and a PhD in New Testament from Duke University. Before joining the Order of Preachers, he worked as an assistant professor in the Department of Theology at Marquette University and attended St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Milwaukee.