Guest lecture with Jordan Ryan: Golgotha and the Tomb of Jesus in Early Christian Memory

The architecture of the Constantinian Church of the Holy Sepulchre was both a receptacle for Jesus tradition as well as a vehicle for the transmission of ideological interpretations of that tradition and the person that it commemorated. It was a bifocal complex, incorporating the traditional sites of Golgotha and the tomb of Jesus in its layout.

Jordan Ryan. Photo

Dr Jordan Ryan

These places naturally attracted memory and interpretation in early Christian tradition and imagination over the first three centuries of the common era. Those memories would eventually be crystallized in architectural form and further developed by the construction of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the fourth century. By examining the ways in which Golgotha and the tomb of Jesus were remembered from the events of the Passion to the construction of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, we can see the role that these places played in early Christian theology, memory, and identity formation over the first four centuries of the common era.

Biography for Jordan Ryan

Jordan Ryan is Assistant Professor of New Testament at Wheaton College, where he teaches both in the Biblical Studies and Biblical Archaeology programs. Prior to that, he was Assistant Professor at the University of Dubuque. He has been a member of the excavation at Magdala since 2012, and is currently a staff member of the Tel Shimron excavation. His publications and research interests lie primarily in ancient synagogues, ancient churches, Galilee from the Hellenistic through Byzantine periods, and the historical Jesus.


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Published Jan. 22, 2020 1:18 PM - Last modified Feb. 5, 2020 1:36 PM