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Picking up where he left off in The Historical Jesus: A Comprehensive Guide, Theissen discusses religion as "a cultural sign language that promises a gain in life by corresponding to an ultimate reality"; and presents Christianity as a religion with elements of myth, ritual, ethics, and an emergent symbolic system.
In these distinguished Oxford lectures, Theissen picks up where he left off in The Historical Jesus (1998). Employing the notion of religion as a "cultural sign language which promises a gain in life by corresponding to an ultimate reality," he plots the emergence of Christianity as a religion, with elements of myth, ritual, ethics, and an emergent symbolic system. He expands upon the historical, social, and theological analysis of his earlier works to cover such issues as the relationship of Jesus to the earliest churches, power, possessions, interpretations of Jesus' death, and the separation of the church and synagogue.Theissen's most complete and systematic treatment of early Christianity to dateTraces the gradual emergence of the most important beliefs about JesusEncompasses beliefs, ethics, ritual, and the origin of the New Testament canon in one synthesis
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