Recent overviews confirm that for decades the scholarly debate about Jesus' resurrection have centred on the question whether or not it refers to an actual event in history. Despite an endless stream of publications no real new answers have been found by those affirming and those denying a literal, bodily resurrection. A social-scientific perspective is described as that approach informed by historical consciousness and the affirmation of multiple cultural realities. From this point of view, the textual data on the visionary encounters are taken as evidence for the reality of Jesus' resurrection as a cultural event but without claiming universal validity. Like many examples of intentional objects, constituting cultural reality for subjects sharing a cultural system, it is suggested that Jesus' resurrection should be seen as such a reality. Thus it is suggested that a social-scientific perspective offers an alternative framework for understanding the resurrection, and consequently for a renewal of the scholarly debate.