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Dr. Riley has expertise in the culture and religions of the Greco-Roman world and the ancient Near East. His main interests are the relationships between the diverse expressions of Christianity and their cultural context. He earned a Bachelors Degree in Ancient History at UCLA, a Masters Degree in Classics at UCSB, a Masters Degree in Northwest Semitic Languages at UCLA, a third Masters Degree in Religious Studies at Harvard University, and a PhD in New Testament and Christian Origins at Harvard University. His book One Jesus Many Christs was the first choice in religion of the Book of the Month Club and the British Book of the Month Club, and his book The River of God was a History Book Club selection. Both books have been translated into several languages. He has taught at UCLA, UCSB, Harvard University, George Mason University, and for more than twenty years at the Claremont School of Theology and Claremont Graduate University.
Resurrection Reconsidered by
"Dr. Riley surveys the variety of conceptions of life after death in the Greco-Roman world. Demonstrating how the oldest Christian perspective on the resurrection of Jesus was consistent with concepts of Jews and Greeks in antiquity, he shows how it is possible to see the Gospel of John as a corrective not of some lost Gnosis but of ideas preserved in the Gospel of Thomas."
One Jesus, Many Christs by
Dr. Riley reveals that from the beginning there was not just one true Christianity, but many different Christianities. United by passionate allegiance to Jesus as Hero, these early, doctrinally diverse Christianities have led to the development of many different kinds of Christian churches among us today. Riley shows that early Christianity harbored major doctrinal differences about all aspects of Jesus' life, death, resurrection, and divinity.
The River of God by
Dr. Riley demonstrates that early Christians held widely differing beliefs about God, Jesus, the Devil, and the human soul, and follows these beliefs back to their sources in Greek science and philosophy and the religions of the ancient Middle East.
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