Fleer Lecture To Welcome Lee Jefferson Feb. 26

‘What Would Jesus’ Selfie Look Like? – The Historical Jesus Vs. Jesus In Christian Art’

January 29, 2019

By MAGGIE GEBHARDT / mgebhardt@centralmethodist.edu

Lee JeffersonThe Gilbert and Ruth Fleer Lecture on Values-Based Education is just around the corner, and will welcome Lee Jefferson as the speaker.

The annual event will be at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 26 in the Spalding Room of CMU’s Inman Student and Community Center. It is free and open to the public.

Jefferson will present “What Would Jesus’ Selfie Look Like? – The Historical Jesus vs. Jesus in Christian Art,” for a crowd of CMU faculty, staff, students, and campus visitors.

Jefferson, the NEH associate professor of religion at Centre College, is the author of Christ the Miracle Worker in Early Christian Art, and co-author of The Art of Empire: Christian Art in its Imperial Context.

He has worked on excavations in Israel, traveled and taught courses on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, and researched on church art in Rome featuring Jesus performing miracles.

Currently, Jefferson is working on a book focusing on the doors of Santa Sabina, Rome, and a particular panel featuring Peter and Paul.

Jefferson’s lecture will introduce the earliest images of Jesus, and move forward in history to show how Jesus evolves in Christian art, mirroring his viewers or projecting particular attitudes and traits certain groups wished to advertise. According to Jefferson, after viewing the evidence, it becomes clear that this tradition includes multiple ways of picturing Jesus.

Jefferson received his bachelor’s degree from Sewanee-University of the South and a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University. He earned his Master of Arts and Ph.D. in religion from Vanderbilt University.

Gilbert and Ruth Fleer, Bentonville, Ark., are the founders of Central Methodist’s Fleer Lecture Series. Both are CMU alums, and Gilbert was assistant professor of religion at Central from 1959 to 1965.

The 2019 Fleer Lecture is co-sponsored by CMU’s English, Foreign Languages, Philosophy and Religion Division, and by the CMU Advancement and Alumni Relations Department.