The appearance of Christianity is one of the great events in world history but how should it be explained? This course will introduce the latest thinking by scholars in the field and is intended to help participants arrive at their own, informed, conclusions. Each unit will focus on a question key to making sense of the subject. These include: are ancient explanations of the origins of Christianity of any historical value? Did Jesus intend to found the new religion or were others, such as Paul, responsible? Why did Christianity become so popular, so quickly? What light can modern discoveries and new academic approaches contribute to our understanding?