reversed.thunder, December 28, 2006 (view all comments by reversed.thunder)
I saw and heard Garry Wills on Charlie Rose's interview show on PBS and I was struck?impressed really?by his authenticity and the substance of his faith. As one who seriously considered pursuing theology as a calling, won a prize in religion at one time, and takes his faith seriously, I can only commend Mr. Wills for his courageous work. His book may not shake up biblical scholarship or Christological studies, his powerful conviction and reasoned arguments on behalf of a common-sense interpretation of Jesus' teachings sets a standard for insight and humane interpretation. Wills provides a superbly reasoned rebuke of those idolators and imposters of the militant "Christian" right and fag-hating/anti-abortion/ fundamentalists who would co-opt Yeshua ben Miriam's message and example for their ideological purpose.
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"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"Christianity has been twisted and warped to such an extent that not even Jesus would recognize it now. This is Wills's thesis in his stimulating, fresh look into the life and message of Jesus of Nazareth. The now-ubiquitous phrase, 'What Would Jesus Do?' encouraged Wills, professor of history at Northwestern University and prolific writer on contemporary religion, to take a closer look at how the Christian message has been used and abused in recent times. Wills believes that most Christians don't understand Jesus' startlingly radical message, so they should not claim to have knowledge of how he would act today. People of all political persuasions have used Jesus' words to rationalize a domesticated, flaccid Christianity that upholds the status quo, or, worse yet, supports discrimination toward those who are on the margins. This attitude, according to Wills, completely misses the truth that Jesus 'walks through social barriers and taboos as if they were cobwebs.' Readers who are familiar with Wills's writing know that he is not shy about critiquing organized religion, and they will not be disappointed. Although his arguments lean toward hyperbole at times, at its core this book invites Christians toward more honest reflection on the life and message of the one they call 'Savior.'" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
by Library Journal,
"Addressing the meaning of Jesus' teachings in the first century C.E., the book serves as a tool to combat the politicization of Jesus in the modern world....A fresh look at an old topic."
"Wills' dissent from certain pro-clerical and exclusivist statements Benedict XVI has made assure him the continued opprobrium of institutional church hardliners, but his portrayal of Jesus the radical is so profoundly familiar as to be irrefutable."
Garry Wills brings his signature brand of erudite, unorthodox thinking to his latest book of revelations. . . . A tour de force and a profound show of faith.” (O, the Oprah Magazine)
In what are billed culture wars,” people on the political right and the political left cite Jesus as endorsing their views. But in this New York Times-bestselling masterpiece, Garry Wills argues that Jesus subscribed to no political program. He was far more radical than that. In a fresh reading of the gospels, Wills explores the meaning of the reign of heaven” Jesus not only promised for the future but brought with him into this life. It is only by dodges and evasions that people misrepresent what Jesus plainly had to say against power, the wealthy, and religion itself. But Wills is just as critical of those who would make Jesus a mere ethical teacher, ignoring or playing down his divinity. An illuminating analysis for believers and nonbelievers alike, What Jesus Meant is a brilliant addition to our national conversation on religion.
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