Pythons to visit conference on Jesus and Brian

And now for something completely different.

Bookings are still open for the Jesus and Brian conference, which is being held at King’s College London between Fri-Sun, 20-22 June 2014. The conference explores the historical Jesus and his times via Monty Python’s Life of Brian.

The conference features no less than two Pythons. John Cleese will be the after-dinner speaker on Saturday, and Terry Jones will join the conference on Friday for a conversation about the film.

Monty Python’s Life of Brian provoked a furious response in some quarters when it first appeared in 1979, even leading to cries of ‘blasphemy’. However, many students and teachers of biblical literature were quietly, and often loudly, both amused and intrigued.

Life of Brian in fact contains numerous references to what was then the cutting edge of biblical scholarship and Life of Jesus research, founded on the recognition of the historical Jesus as a Jew who needs to be understood within the context of his time.

The Jesus and Brian conference opens up Life of Brian to renewed investigation, using it in an innovative way to sharpen our view of Jesus. Papers presented by some of the world’s most eminent biblical scholars and historians will discuss the film’s relevance to history, biblical studies and Life of Jesus research.

The conference will include presentations from some of the foremost scholars of the historical Jesus and the first-century Judaea today, including: Martin Goodman, George Brooke, Joan Taylor, Bart Ehrman, Amy-Jill Levine, James Crossley, Philip Davies, Helen Bond, Steve Mason, Adele Reinhartz and Paula Fredriksen.

Together with reflections on the film and its initial reception, this is also a celebration of a British movie masterpiece.

Friday 20 June to Sunday 22 June 2014

Edmond J Safra Lecture Theatre, King’s College London

Tickets are £195 for the three days (or £98 for students). Day tickets are £65 per day (or £32.50 for students). Prices are inclusive of lunches and refreshments. There is an additional cost of £65 for the Saturday night dinner in the Inner Temple. This includes a sparkling drinks reception followed by a multi-course meal, with wine.

Book here