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Jesus: The Human Face of God (Icons)by Jay Parini
Synopses & Reviews
Part of James Atlas’s Icons series, a biography of one of the leading intellectuals in postwar America, and the author of the controversial Eichmann in Jerusalem.
Hannah Arendt was an eminent philosopher, a distinguished professor, and a famous journalist. When she wrote about the trial of the Nazi war criminal Adolph Eichmann she not only recorded history but changed it. Her major works, The Origin of Totalitarianism and The Human Condition, belong among the classics of Western thought. When she died in 1975 at the age of 69, she was revered as one of the major intellectual figures of her day.
In Anne Heller’s skilled telling, she was also an outsized personality, fearless and indifferent to the opinions of others. As a student in Germany, she had a controversial affair with her professor, the philosopher Martin Heidegger, a supporter of the Nazi party. Barred from teaching because she was Jewish, she fled to France and, later, to New York. She made her way in the world of émigré Jews with force; Eichmann in Jerusalem, first published in The New Yorker, invoked a phrase — “the banality of evil” — that would forever alter how we view the Holocaust. Heller, the biographer of Ayn Rand, is accustomed to dealing with strong women; her portrait of Arendt engages both her private life — the philosopher Karl Jaspers was one of her professors, Mary McCarthy was her closest friend — and her role as a public intellectual in postwar New York. One of her most important books was a collection of biographical essays called Men in Dark Times; Arendt, too, lived through dark times, but managed to bring light.
"'Remythologizing' Jesus is the aim of this slim biography. Parini (The Last Station), a much published professor of English and creative writing at Middlebury College, wishes to present neither a scholarly investigation of the historical Jesus nor another literalist retelling of biblical accounts. Rather, he sets out to explore Jesus' story in the context of 'the gradually realizing kingdom of God.' Consequently, the book is at its best when Parini shares his ideas of timeless, spiritual implications of the ancient Jesus stories and when he draws from non-biblical art and especially literature to reframe what he understands as the mystery and ongoing-ness of revelation. It is weakest when Parini (occasionally and against his own intentions) lapses into common assumptions based on the gospel stories as objective history. Scholars will find little new here, but seekers may be inspired to think differently about how the man from Nazareth might bear on lives today. Parini's non-literalist theology proves a gentle goad to reconsider the power of myth to tell truths. Agent: Geri Thoma, Writers House." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Jay Parinis Jesus brings the powerful narrative skills of an award-winning novelist to a figure who has affected and changed many lives in a profound way. Parini considers the story in all its mythical radiance, taking Jesus as the human face of God, a figure whose self-sacrifice has inspired men and women for twenty centuries.
A cinematic and biographical assessment of the twentieth century's greatest filmmaker, by one of our most versatile critics.
A biography of one of the leading intellectuals in postwar America, author of the controversial Eichmann in Jerusalem, which introduced the concept of banality of evil, changing in a single phrase our view of humanity.
A stirring account of the life of Paul, who brought Christianity to the Jews, by the most popular writer on religion in the English-speaking world, Karen Armstrong, author of The History of God, which has been translated into thirty languages
Part of James Atlas’s Icons series, a revealing look at the life and work of David Lynch, one of the most enigmatic and influential filmmakers of our time
St. Paul is known throughout the world as the first Christian writer, authoring fourteen of the twenty-seven books in the New Testament. But as Karen Armstrong demonstrates in St. Paul: The Apostle We Love to Hate, he also exerted a more significant influence on the spread of Christianity throughout the world than any other figure in history. It was Paul who established the first Christian churches in Europe and Asia in the first century, Paul who transformed a minor sect into the largest religion produced by Western civilization, and Paul who advanced the revolutionary idea that Christ could serve as a model for the possibility of transcendence. While we know little about some aspects of the life of St. Paulandmdash;his upbringing, the details of his deathandmdash;his dramatic vision of God on the road to Damascus is one of the most powerful stories in the history of Christianity, and the life that followed forever changed the course of history.
At once a pop culture icon, cult figure, and film industry outsider, master filmmaker David Lynch and his work defy easy definition. Dredged from his subconscious mind, Lynch’s work is primed to act on our own subconscious, combining heightened, contradictory emotions into something familiar but inscrutable. No less than his art, Lynch’s life also evades simple categorization, encompassing pursuits as a musician, painter, photographer, carpenter, entrepreneur, and vocal proponent of Transcendental Meditation.
David Lynch: The Man From Another Place, Dennis Lim’s remarkably smart and concise book, proposes several lenses through which to view Lynch and his work: trough the age-old mysteries of the uncanny and the sublime, through the creative energies of surrealism and postmodernism, through theories of dreams and of good and evil. Lynch himself often warns against overinterpretation. And accordingly, this is not a book that seeks to decode his art or annotate his life—to dispel the strangeness of the Lynchian—so much as one that offers complementary ways of seeing and understanding one of the most distinctive bodies of work in modern cinema. Its spirit is true to its subject, in remaining suggestive rather than definitive, in allowing what Lynch likes to call “room to dream,” and in honoring the allure of the unknown and the unknowable.
About the Author
JAY PARINI has written seven novels, including The Passages o
Table of Contents
1. Ancient Palestine 1
2. In the Beginning 13
3. The Dove Descending: His Ministry Begins 30
4. Walking in Galilee: The Healer and Teacher 44
5. Entering Jerusalem 79
6. The Passion: From Gesthsemene to Golgotha 99
7. Resurrection 118
8. The Afterlife of Jesus 136
Select Bibliography 168
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