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Lost Gospels

Wednesday, October 7, 2020, at 7:30 PM EST via Zoom

"Lost Gospels" and Other Christian Apocrypha: New Discoveries and New Perspectives

Tony Burke, York University

It is a common misconception (encouraged by intentional sensationalism) that apocryphal Christian texts—such as the Gospel of Thomas or the Acts of Peter—were “lost” before their rediscovery by scholars, sometimes revealed in dramatic announcements and high profile publications.

In truth, most apocryphal texts enjoyed a friendly co-existence with canonical Scripture throughout Christian history, and their “discovery” often amounts to nothing more than their transition from manuscript to print. Some texts have indeed been lost to history, and others recovered in fragmentary form thanks to archaeological excavations and happenstance discoveries, but likely their loss is due more to accidents of history than efforts at ecclesiastical censorship.

This presentation will introduce viewers to the broad range of apocryphal texts now known to scholars and illustrate the ways these texts have been used over time in Christian liturgy, literature, art, drama, and music. Far from “lost,” apocryphal texts have been and continue to be vital components of Christian culture.

Tony Burke is a Professor in the Department of the Humanities at York University in Toronto

Prior to the event, an email will be sent with instructions on how to access the lecture.