It might seem that the title could more naturally have been “Jesus and the Demise of Criteria of Authenticity.” But I suspect that the wording is intentional – what has changed is not so much the usefulness of the classic criteria, which often remain useful tools for sifting through evidence, but the expectation that the use of such criteria can somehow lead to objectivity and thus to certainty about matters of authenticity and inauthenticity in the Jesus tradition. The conference web site suggests that historical positivism is indeed a major focus of the critique that is expected to unite the range of scholars who will be presenting.
The conference will be held in October at Lincoln Christian University in Illinois, and since it will be within driving distance, I certainly hope to be able to attend. Further details can be found on the conference web page at http://www.lincolnchristian.edu/jesusconference/
I’ll be teaching my historical Jesus course again this semester, starting in just a few days’ time, so if you have thoughts on criteria of authenticity, historical methodology, and/or the historical Jesus, I’d love to have a conversation here. And given that several of the presenters are also bloggers, I expect that a multi-blog conversation will be in order – [humor] if only to ensure that Rafael Rodriguez is no longer wrong by the time the final version of his paper/chapter is completed! [/humor]