The Next Quest for the Historical Jesus conference took place over three days in July 2022, both virtually and hybrid from Higgins Art Gallery & Museum/Panacea Museum, Bedford. The livestreaming of the event meant that there were hundreds of viewers and participants from every continent (bar Antarctica, alas). The livestreams and photographs of the event are all available on the Enoch Seminar’s Facebook page thanks to the work of Joshua Scott. Additionally, they have now been made available on YouTube:
Attempts to reconstruct the life and times of the historical Jesus have come to a standstill in recent years. This is partly because of the outdated nature of the so-called "criterion of authenticity" (a set of approaches developed by an older generation of scholarship to establish whether a saying or deed attributed to Jesus did—or did not—go back to what the historical Jesus actually said or did), a lack of awareness among historical Jesus scholars about how they have used terms like “Jewishness” and “Judaism,” and narrowly defined methodological approaches.
The purpose of the Next Quest for the Historical Jesus was to look at new ways and foregrounding overlooked ways of understanding what might be done about reconstructing the context of the earliest ideas about Jesus. Scholars presented on a range of assigned topics (e.g., social networks, fame and aura, ancient media, scribalism and memory, slavery, class conflict, violence and trauma, the body, omissions and silences), including the cross-cultural phenomenon of millenarianism and the role of apocalypticism in pre-modern agrarian societies.
But this is not yet the end, of course. There will be a major book coming from the conference and published by Eerdmans. Watch this space for further updates.