(Globe and Mail) Lorna Dueck—Jesus as we’d like him to be

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Richard Ascough, professor of religious studies at Queen’s University, told me that, “From what I can see, Aslan accepts as historical the passages that fit his construction of Jesus and discards the ones that don’t, which results in a book that is historically suspect, as are most other [Jesus] books that have gone before it.”

Prof. [Reza] Aslan told The Washington Post that the criticism came from his having a foot in both creative writing and religion. “I like to go back and forth,” he acknowledged....He might as well have said, “Welcome to the bricolage of life!” Bricolage is that cultural trend to create a self-satisfying mosaic of our interests....Aslan is now a Muslim, but certainly a hard-core self-definer, inventing his own boundaries. “It’s not that I think Islam is correct and Christianity is incorrect,” he told the Post. “It’s that all religions are nothing more than a language made up of symbols and metaphors to help an individual explain faith.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooksMulticulturalism, pluralismReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations* TheologyChristology

3 Comments
Posted August 20, 2013 at 6:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. TomRightmyer wrote:

I’ve forgotten who first said, “Books about Jesus tell more about the author than they do about Jesus,” but my experience reading them confirms that thought.  The fundamental question is “how reliable are the written accounts?”  Those of us who tend to accept the Tradition have a high opinion of the texts. Those who reject the Tradition tend to have a higher opinion of their own reconstructions than they do of the texts.

August 20, 10:20 am | [comment link]
2. driver8 wrote:

At the beginning of the twentieth century the Catholic scholar George Tyrell diagnosed the central dilemma in all historical Jesus studies:

“The Christ that Adolf Harnack sees, looking back through nineteen centuries of Catholic darkness, is only the reflection of a liberal Protestant face, seen at the bottom of a deep well.”

Professor Aslan, who now sits lightly to religious truth claims, and views religious language as principally referring to human concerns and experience, finds a Jesus who uses vivid religious metaphors to promote an revolutionary politics. Plus ça change…

August 21, 3:03 am | [comment link]
3. driver8 wrote:

One might note - almost a century ago liberal reflections on the Jesus were dealt what looked to be a deathly blow - by the experience of WW1, the rise of fascism and all that followed. That is, the bourgeois spirituality that underlay the this-worldly ethics of the liberal Christ was rendered absurd in the mud of the trenches and the horrors of the 30s and 40s. A century later, those lessons have been unlearned, decades of peace, prosperity and liberty have permitted, once again, a Christ without judgment, without the cross, without coming kingdom, to regain the hearts of sensitive and thoughtful professors.

I suspect that quickly or slowly the world will once again falsify this Christ, so that even amidst the settled laps of tenured professors, a Jesus who says nothing about sin and redemption, who has no truths to teach about His Father, will appear absurd.

The mud splattered world does not need another failed revolutionary, it needs the Chosen One of Israel, the Light of the Nations, the Redeemer.

August 21, 3:22 am | [comment link]
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