Sermon on the Mount Course

Inspiring the Moral Imagination:
Living the Sermon on the Mount

The Sermon on the Mount is one of the most easily recognized portions of the New Testament.  It contains the much-loved Beatitudes, the so-called “Summary of the Law”, the Lord’s Prayer, and well-known pithy moral aphorisms, such as “turn the other cheek” and “judge not lest ye be judged.”  We claim to live by Jesus’ moral vision as expressed in the Sermon, but often we find it easier to claim the vision than to live it.

The Church has struggled with the Sermon on the Mount and its moral vision from earliest times. In this course we read the sermon closely with the assistance of famous “reading partners”, that is, commentators on the text from the Patristic period down to the present day.  Our primary modern guide will be New Testament scholar Amy-Jill Levine (Sermon on the Mount: A Beginner’s Guide to the Kingdom of Heaven, Abingdon, 2020). As we read along with a variety of  interpreters, my hope is that new possibilities for understanding, interpreting, and living the Sermon on the Mount will emerge. 

To register please contact Fr. Dan Graves:


The Bible (preferably RSV or NRSV)

Amy-Jill Levine, Sermon on the Mount: A Beginner’s Guide to the Kingdom of Heaven (Nashville: Abingdon, 2020), ISBN 978-1-5018-9989-8, softcover, $22.50 (also available on Kindle or audio book) Click Here 

Other readings will be provided by email.


Week 1: Versions, Influences, and interpretive strategies – Matthew 5-7; Sermon on the Plain, Luke 6:12-20a; Paul, Romans 12. Jewish context: Deuteronomy, the Dead Sea Scrolls, Psalm 1, blessings and curses; building a wall around Torah, the Four Senses of Scripture.

Week 2: The Beatitudes.

Week 3: The Extensions.

Week 4: Practicing Piety.


Week 5: Our Father

Week 6: Finding your Treasure

Week 7: Living into the Kingdom

This course will be offered via Zoom in two different timeslots, Thursdays 10 am and 7:30 pm, April 15th, April 22nd, April 29th, May 6th, May 20th, May 27th, and June 3rd. There will be no class on May 13th.


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