Advancing religious literacy


Westar Institute began in 1985 when Robert W. Funk invited 30 New Testament scholars to join him in a new, collaborative inquiry about Jesus as a figure of history. The focus was on identifying evidence about what, in all probability, Jesus actually said and did without privileging any traditional religious claims about him. The invitation included a commitment to make the results of the inquiry available to the general public as a contribution to religious literacy.

Bob Funk believed biblical scholars have an ethical responsibility to report their findings to the public, openly and clearly. And he argued that there is a large lay constituency eager to join scholars in that public discourse. The 25 years that followed proved him exactly right. Westar has had a profound effect on public awareness of religion scholarship and has helped inaugurate a new kind of academic discourse that is both collaborative and cumulative.

Read more about Westar founder Bob Funk