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Constructing the Messiah
Constructing the Story of Jesus, the Hero
Associate Professor of Anthropology Emeritus
University at Buffalo, SUNY
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Paul and the Gospel writers collated and shaped a composite narrative from disparate bits of oral tradition. A strong influence was the classical model of The Hero. In 1934 the British folklorist Lord Raglan described 22 traits that are here applied to Jesus, whom the Gospels show to be the greatest Hero since Moses.
Phil Stevens is an Elder at WPC, on the Session, a member of the Case Library Committee and Chair of the Membership Committee. He is a cultural anthropologist; in 2019 he retired after 48 years in the Anthropology Department at SUNY Buffalo. This series is a reprise of talks he gave at the Church in 1987.