F604 Winter 2019 Models of Christian Development: The Changing Focus of Christianity
Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 24–Feb. 14
Instructor: John Rybicki
Jesus did not found a formal organization called “church,” but Jesus did have followers. After Jesus’s death and resurrection these followers continued on as an ecclesia, an “assembly of believers,” to proclaim the gospel of Jesus and to await or establish the Kingdom of God on earth. Eventually, this assembly of believers became institutionalized as a formal, dogmatic, elitist “church.” There were numerous influences both within the community of believers and external to it that changed Christianity. These changes altered not only the organization of the community but its beliefs and goals. The “church” that was to change the world was, in fact, changed by it. This series will trace the development of the institution from Jewish sect to monarchial authoritarianism to its current fragmentation.
John Rybicki has diplomas in theological studies from both the Virginia Theological Seminary and the Antiochian Orthodox Church. He studied at Saint George’s College in Jerusalem and received a master’s degree in theology from the Saint John of Damascus Institute of Theology, Balamand University. He has been a presenter at OLLI for over 20 years.