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Pagan Christ: Is Blind Faith Killing Christianity?

Pagan Christ: Is Blind Faith Killing Christianity? Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

For forty years and in nine previous books, scholar and religious commentator Tom Harpur has challenged church orthodoxy and guided thousands of readers on subjects as controversial as the true nature of Christ and life after death. Now, in his most radical and groundbreaking work, Harpur digs deep into the origins of Christianity. What he has discovered will have a profound effect on the way we think about religion.

Long before the advent of Jesus Christ, the Egyptians and other peoples believed in the coming of a messiah, a madonna and her child, a virgin birth, and the incarnation of the spirit in flesh. The early Christian church accepted these ancient truths as the very tenets of Christianity but disavowed their origins. What began as a universal belief system based on myth and allegory became instead, in the third and fourth centuries A.D., a ritualistic institution headed by ultraconservative literalists. “The transcendent meaning of glorious myths and symbols was reduced to miraculous, quite unbelievable events. The truth that Christ was to come in man, that the Christ principle was potentially in each of us, was changed to the exclusivist teaching that the Christ had come as a man.”

Harpurs message is clear: Our blind faith in literalism is killing Christianity. Only with a return to an inclusive religion will we gain a true understanding of who we are and who we are intended to become. Drawing on the work of scholars such as Gerald Massey and Alvin Boyd Kuhn, Tom Harpur has written a book of rare insight and power.

Tom Harpur is a former Anglican priest and professor of Greek and New Testament at the University of Toronto. He is the acclaimed author of nine previous books, including For Christ's Sake and Life After Death.
For forty years, scholar and religious commentator Tom Harpur has challenged church orthodoxy and guided readers on subjects as controversial as the true nature of Christ and life after death. Now, in his most radical work, Harpur digs deep into the origins of Christianity. In The Pagan Christ, Harpur provides a provocative argument for a mystical, rather than historical, understanding of Jesus.
 
Long before the advent of Jesus Christ, the Egyptians and other peoples believed in the coming of a messiah, a virgin birth, a Madonna and her child, and the incarnation of the spirit in flesh. While the early Christian church accepted these ancient truths as the very basis of Christianity, it disavowed their origins. What had begun as a universal belief system built on myth and allegory was transformed, by the third and fourth centuries A.D., into a ritualistic institution based on a literal interpretation of myths and symbols. But, as Tom Harpur argues in The Pagan Christ, "to take the Gospels literally as history or biography is to utterly miss their inner spiritual meaning."

At a time of religious extremism, Tom Harpur reveals the virtue of a cosmic faith based on ancient truths that the modern church has renounced. His message is clear: Our blind faith in literalism is killing Christianity. Only with a return to an inclusive religion where Christ lives within each of us will we gain a true understanding of who we are and who we are intended to become.

"Our world is aflame with a thousand hatreds, and can ill afford further divisiveness among religions. The Pagan Christ is an antidote for this strife, because it embodies an inclusivist, unifying approach that takes seriously the injunction of the major religions—that we behave toward one another with compassion, love, and good will."—Larry Dossey, M.D., author of The Extraordinary Healing Power of Ordinary Things
 
"In this passionate hymn to Christ universal, rather than demythologizing Jesus as so many scholars do, Tom Harpur remythologizes Christ. He identifies the Christian mythos with universal themes drawn, in particular, from Egyptian wisdom, not to debunk Christian truth but to rekindle it with ancient fire."—Forrest Church, author of Bringing God Home: A Spiritual Guidebook for the Journey of Your Life
 
"A thoroughly captivating book . . . Harpur describes and shares his intellectual journey extremely powerfully."—Globe and Mail
 
"A truly revolutionary work, devout but subversive in the best sense, with a carefully constructed narrative that challenges believers and non-believers to fundamentally re-examine 'the Greatest Story Ever Told' . . . Harpur has arrived at a dramatic conclusion, firmly held and well detailed."—Edmonton Journal
 
"Harpur has a simple yet challenging thesis: Jesus did not exist. He argues that what was originally meant to be taken spiritually and allegorically was, by the third century, taken literally. A former Anglican priest and former believer in the historical Jesus, Harpur now proposes that religion has an important spiritual meaning, one that was recognized by the Egyptians, and that Egyptian allegory was taken over by Christians and made historical in the character of Jesus. Harpur shows the many correspondences between Christian teaching and Egyptian teaching . . . Harpur's book is intriguing, and it will be popular among those who question received dogma."—Augustine J. Curley, Library Journal
 
"A radical reinterpretation not just of the Bible but of the nature of the Christian faith and its links to the world's greatest spiritual traditions." —Publishers Weekly

Synopsis:

For forty years and in nine previous books, scholar and religious commentator Tom Harpur has challenged church orthodoxy and guided thousands of readers on subjects as controversial as the true nature of Christ and life after death. Now, in his most radical and groundbreaking work, Harpur digs deep into the origins of Christianity. What he has discovered will have a profound effect on the way we think about religion.

Long before the advent of Jesus Christ, the Egyptians and other peoples believed in the coming of a messiah, a madonna and her child, a virgin birth, and the incarnation of the spirit in flesh. The early Christian church accepted these ancient truths as the very tenets of Christianity but disavowed their origins. What began as a universal belief system based on myth and allegory became instead, in the third and fourth centuries A.D., a ritualistic institution headed by ultraconservative literalists. "The transcendent meaning of glorious myths and symbols was reduced to miraculous, quite unbelievable events. The truth that Christ was to come in man, that the Christ principle was potentially in each of us, was changed to the exclusivist teaching that the Christ had come as a man."

Harpur's message is clear: Our blind faith in literalism is killing Christianity. Only with a return to an inclusive religion will we gain a true understanding of who we are and who we are intended to become. Drawing on the work of scholars such as Gerald Massey and Alvin Boyd Kuhn, Tom Harpur has written a book of rare insight and power.

About the Author

TOM HARPUR is a former Anglican priest and professor of Greek and New Testament at the University of Toronto. D.C. Coles

Product Details

ISBN:
9780802777416
Subtitle:
Is Blind Faith Killing Christianity?
Publisher:
Walker & Company
Author:
Harpur, Tom
Subject:
Theology - Christology
Subject:
Church History
Subject:
Controversial Knowledge
Subject:
Bible - Controversial Speculation
Subject:
Christianity - Theology - Christology
Subject:
Christian Theology - Christology
Subject:
Biblical Studies - Controversial Speculation
Subject:
General
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
20060502
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
260
Dimensions:
8.22x5.92x.69 in. .53 lbs.

Related Subjects

Religion » Christianity » Christology

Pagan Christ: Is Blind Faith Killing Christianity?
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Product details 260 pages Walker & Company - English 9780802777416 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
For forty years and in nine previous books, scholar and religious commentator Tom Harpur has challenged church orthodoxy and guided thousands of readers on subjects as controversial as the true nature of Christ and life after death. Now, in his most radical and groundbreaking work, Harpur digs deep into the origins of Christianity. What he has discovered will have a profound effect on the way we think about religion.

Long before the advent of Jesus Christ, the Egyptians and other peoples believed in the coming of a messiah, a madonna and her child, a virgin birth, and the incarnation of the spirit in flesh. The early Christian church accepted these ancient truths as the very tenets of Christianity but disavowed their origins. What began as a universal belief system based on myth and allegory became instead, in the third and fourth centuries A.D., a ritualistic institution headed by ultraconservative literalists. "The transcendent meaning of glorious myths and symbols was reduced to miraculous, quite unbelievable events. The truth that Christ was to come in man, that the Christ principle was potentially in each of us, was changed to the exclusivist teaching that the Christ had come as a man."

Harpur's message is clear: Our blind faith in literalism is killing Christianity. Only with a return to an inclusive religion will we gain a true understanding of who we are and who we are intended to become. Drawing on the work of scholars such as Gerald Massey and Alvin Boyd Kuhn, Tom Harpur has written a book of rare insight and power.

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