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Beyond the Jesus question: Confronting the historical Jesus problem

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Product Description

By Robert Crotty

Published: 2003
ISBN: 978-1-876682-47-7
Pages: xix+215
Imprint: Post Pressed

Overview

Who was Jesus of Nazareth? The Third Search for the Historical Jesus has valiantly tried to identify him. What sort of person could have given rise to the gospel stories of healing, exorcising, raising the dead to life, founding a new community - a prophet, a teacher of wisdom, a Jewish peasant, a character mentioned in the Dead Sea Scrolls? All have been proposed.

This book suggests that the identification of Jesus will remain forever conjectural. More importantly, its main thesis is that the identity of the historical Jesus is not important for the religious believer. The 'Jesus' of the Christian gospels was a socio-symbolic form that had had a long history in the tortured history of Judaism before Christian times. At a moment of revolutionary change within Judaism, this form emerged and became the basis of a new Jewish sect, Christianity.

Beyond the Jesus Question makes a strong statement about religion, about Jesus and about early Christianity as we enter the third millennium.

 


Robert Crotty is Adjunct Professor of Religion Education at the University of South Australia. Previously he wrote The Jesus Question, which provided the background knowledge necessary to debate the issues in a search for an historical Jesus.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

1.       The Three Quests for the Historical Jesus

2.       Back to Basics: Religion

3.       Moving Forward: Religious Groups

4.       Refinding the Symbolic Forms of Ancient Judaism

5.       A Jewish Paradigm in Transition

6.       The Jesus Tradition

7.       Many Groups, One Tradition

  • Conclusion
  • Bibliography
  • Index

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