A Quest for the Post-Historical Jesus

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9780826406415: A Quest for the Post-Historical Jesus
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Christian theology has always been the most comfortable with the idea that there are only two intellectual spheres, belief and unbelief. But what if there should be a third space between belief and unbelief? What if Christianity is no longer true in the traditional sense but continues to be important long after it has ceased to be true? And specifically in connection with Jesus, how does one speak about Jesus in a world that does not and need not believe in him? Such questions form the background to this fascinating book.
If, as it seems, historical method has given us all that it is capable of giving, and that does not prove to be much, an examination of contemporary fictional treatments of Jesus takes on new interest. So William Hamilton here examines twentieth-century Jesus fictions written by novelists, playwrights, poets, from Elizabeth Goudge and Robert Graves to Gore Vidal and A.N. Wilson, from T.S. Eliot and W.H. Auden to Stevie Smith. On the way to this central discussion he also considers Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Emily Dickinson from the nineteenth century; theologians like Gerd Theissen, Graham Shaw, J.L. Segundo, and Leonardo Boff; and films including Pasolini's The Gospel According to St. Matthew and Jesus of Montreal.
Witty and entertaining, as well as profound and disturbing, A Quest for the Post-Historical Jesus seems set to become a post-modern classic-Schweitzer a century later.

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