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Author Topic: John Dominic Crossan's 'blasphemous' portrait of Jesus  (Read 2335 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: February 27, 2011, 07:40:44 PM »

Some choice quotes

Quote
Crossan says Jesus was an exploited "peasant with an attitude" who didn't perform many miracles, physically rise from the dead or die as punishment for humanity's sins.

Quote
When asked if he is a Christian, Crossan doesn't hesitate.

"Absolutely."

Quote
"I'm completely convinced that Jesus was a major healer," he says. "I don't think anybody would talk about Jesus if all he did was talk."

Quote
"A lot of people in the first century thought Jesus was saying something so important that they were willing to die for it. If people finish with my books and now see why Pilate executed him and why people died for him, then I've done my job."

Quote
Consider his understanding of the resurrection. Jesus didn’t bodily rise from the dead, he says. The first Christians told Jesus’ resurrection story as a parable, not as a fact.

There's a nice bit from Ben Witherington in there.

http://www.cnn.com/2011/LIVING/02/27/Jesus.scholar/index.html?hpt=C2#
« Last Edit: February 27, 2011, 07:59:12 PM by Aposphet » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2011, 09:32:48 PM »

I read the article earlier today and I'm familiar with his line of thinking and work. Essentially, he's not a Christian because the "miracles" he speaks of are nothing more than things we can do sans supernatural help. Jesus, to Crossan, is more of a neo-Marxist than anything else. Crossan supports a more modernistic approach to Jesus, but it's really along the lines of Slavoj Ẑiẑek and his attempt to co-op Christianity into Marxism rather than pitting the two against each other.

Essentially, it's a materialistic view of Christianity, which is tragic and leaves us without hope.
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« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2011, 09:35:43 PM »

I read the article earlier today and I'm familiar with his line of thinking and work. Essentially, he's not a Christian because the "miracles" he speaks of are nothing more than things we can do sans supernatural help. Jesus, to Crossan, is more of a neo-Marxist than anything else. Crossan supports a more modernistic approach to Jesus, but it's really along the lines of Slavoj Ẑiẑek and his attempt to co-op Christianity into Marxism rather than pitting the two against each other.

Essentially, it's a materialistic view of Christianity, which is tragic and leaves us without hope.

Right exactly why I brought up the quotes which seemed to contradict each other. His notion of being a Christian is in sharp contrast to basic Christian doctrine.

I think he throws out "I'm a Christian" just so he can get other Christians to read his books, which I think if you don't have a good solid historical understanding you may very well lose your faith in Christ as the incarnation of the Word, or even Christ in general.
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« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2011, 11:10:57 PM »

Yes, it's pretty easy to be a Christian when you're essentially determining who Jesus is, and then bowing before him. It's a bit like prostrating in front of a mirror. Of course, prostration might not be egalitarian enough for Crossan's tastes. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that he is determining the christ, and then passively admiring his principles as a wise teacher. How this is possible when all we are getting is different christs through different interpretive lenses when we read the New Testament? Which Jesus do we choose and admire?
« Last Edit: February 27, 2011, 11:14:18 PM by Alveus Lacuna » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2011, 11:32:16 PM »

Great point Alveus. Anyone catch the subtle quotes around "blasphemous" in this article?
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« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2011, 11:46:35 PM »

Jesus, to Crossan, is more of a neo-Marxist than anything else.

Whether this was truly meant to be in jest, it is lulz. The post-Marx-material-dialectic ain't what it used to be . . .

Slavoj Ẑiẑek

Really?

So you also have under your belt Lacan and post-Lacanian, Heideggerian, Marxist, and Derridian thought as well?

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« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2011, 03:43:33 PM »

Yes, it's pretty easy to be a Christian when you're essentially determining who Jesus is, and then bowing before him. It's a bit like prostrating in front of a mirror. Of course, prostration might not be egalitarian enough for Crossan's tastes. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that he is determining the christ, and then passively admiring his principles as a wise teacher. How this is possible when all we are getting is different christs through different interpretive lenses when we read the New Testament? Which Jesus do we choose and admire?

This is an excellent point and one that often goes ignored. Of course, there are those who want to embrace the idea of having different views of Christ, as though He were just a myth anyway.

Jesus, to Crossan, is more of a neo-Marxist than anything else.

Whether this was truly meant to be in jest, it is lulz. The post-Marx-material-dialectic ain't what it used to be . . .

Slavoj Ẑiẑek

Really?

So you also have under your belt Lacan and post-Lacanian, Heideggerian, Marxist, and Derridian thought as well?



Yes. I'm doing philosophy of religion, meaning I have to look both to analytic philosophy and continental philosophy. While no expert in either area (yet), I've done a fair chunk of reading in both areas, enough to have an educated opinion on it.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2011, 03:44:57 PM by theo philosopher » Logged

“Wherefore, then, death approaches, gulps down the bait of the body, and is pierced by the hook of the divinity. Then, having tasted of the sinless and life-giving body, it is destroyed and gives up all those whom it had swallowed down of old." - St. John of Damascus
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« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2011, 05:11:07 PM »

Yes, it's pretty easy to be a Christian when you're essentially determining who Jesus is, and then bowing before him. It's a bit like prostrating in front of a mirror. Of course, prostration might not be egalitarian enough for Crossan's tastes. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that he is determining the christ, and then passively admiring his principles as a wise teacher. How this is possible when all we are getting is different christs through different interpretive lenses when we read the New Testament? Which Jesus do we choose and admire?

This is an excellent point and one that often goes ignored. Of course, there are those who want to embrace the idea of having different views of Christ, as though He were just a myth anyway.

Jesus, to Crossan, is more of a neo-Marxist than anything else.

Whether this was truly meant to be in jest, it is lulz. The post-Marx-material-dialectic ain't what it used to be . . .

Slavoj Ẑiẑek

Really?

So you also have under your belt Lacan and post-Lacanian, Heideggerian, Marxist, and Derridian thought as well?



Yes. I'm doing philosophy of religion, meaning I have to look both to analytic philosophy and continental philosophy. While no expert in either area (yet), I've done a fair chunk of reading in both areas, enough to have an educated opinion on it.

Your comments would suggest otherwise.
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« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2011, 09:14:21 PM »

Yes, it's pretty easy to be a Christian when you're essentially determining who Jesus is, and then bowing before him. It's a bit like prostrating in front of a mirror. Of course, prostration might not be egalitarian enough for Crossan's tastes. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that he is determining the christ, and then passively admiring his principles as a wise teacher. How this is possible when all we are getting is different christs through different interpretive lenses when we read the New Testament? Which Jesus do we choose and admire?

This is an excellent point and one that often goes ignored. Of course, there are those who want to embrace the idea of having different views of Christ, as though He were just a myth anyway.

Jesus, to Crossan, is more of a neo-Marxist than anything else.

Whether this was truly meant to be in jest, it is lulz. The post-Marx-material-dialectic ain't what it used to be . . .

Slavoj Ẑiẑek

Really?

So you also have under your belt Lacan and post-Lacanian, Heideggerian, Marxist, and Derridian thought as well?



Yes. I'm doing philosophy of religion, meaning I have to look both to analytic philosophy and continental philosophy. While no expert in either area (yet), I've done a fair chunk of reading in both areas, enough to have an educated opinion on it.

Your comments would suggest otherwise.

No need to be snarky or snide. If this is the best substance you can come up with concerning what is actually an important subject, perhaps it would be best not to say anything at all.

No interpretation of a philosopher is infallible; I think you need to remember that.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2011, 09:15:59 PM by theo philosopher » Logged

“Wherefore, then, death approaches, gulps down the bait of the body, and is pierced by the hook of the divinity. Then, having tasted of the sinless and life-giving body, it is destroyed and gives up all those whom it had swallowed down of old." - St. John of Damascus
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« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2011, 06:58:23 PM »

Maybe before criticizing Crossan everyone should go and READ his books first. Just a suggestion.

Crossan's Jesus is not a Marxist, anymore than the early Church was "Communist" according to the book of Acts. (they shared ALL things in common) Crossan sees Jesus as a Jewish cynic peasant/prophet. Much of the material in the Gospels and much of the teachings of Jesus parallel 1st century Cynic teaching to such a great degree that even scholars who take another view have a very difficult time refuting much of Crossan's scholarship.

If you're going to criticize someone's historical reconstruction at least get their reconstruction right before criticizing it. BTW, It's Ben Witherington III as I've heard he demands people say "the third" kind of like "the maestro" in Seinfeld. Cheesy



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« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2011, 07:00:48 PM »

Maybe before criticizing Crossan everyone should go and READ his books first.

Easier said than done.  Cool
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« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2011, 07:04:50 PM »

Maybe before criticizing Crossan everyone should go and READ his books first.

Easier said than done.  Cool

LOL! That's the understatement of the 21st century thus far! Cheesy

Consider this a recanting of my suggestion to go read Crossan. He's great speaker but yeah, his writing just drones on and on.
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« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2011, 12:25:46 AM »

Yes, it's pretty easy to be a Christian when you're essentially determining who Jesus is, and then bowing before him. It's a bit like prostrating in front of a mirror. Of course, prostration might not be egalitarian enough for Crossan's tastes. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that he is determining the christ, and then passively admiring his principles as a wise teacher. How this is possible when all we are getting is different christs through different interpretive lenses when we read the New Testament? Which Jesus do we choose and admire?

This is an excellent point and one that often goes ignored. Of course, there are those who want to embrace the idea of having different views of Christ, as though He were just a myth anyway.

Jesus, to Crossan, is more of a neo-Marxist than anything else.

Whether this was truly meant to be in jest, it is lulz. The post-Marx-material-dialectic ain't what it used to be . . .

Slavoj Ẑiẑek

Really?

So you also have under your belt Lacan and post-Lacanian, Heideggerian, Marxist, and Derridian thought as well?



Yes. I'm doing philosophy of religion, meaning I have to look both to analytic philosophy and continental philosophy. While no expert in either area (yet), I've done a fair chunk of reading in both areas, enough to have an educated opinion on it.

Your comments would suggest otherwise.

No need to be snarky or snide. If this is the best substance you can come up with concerning what is actually an important subject, perhaps it would be best not to say anything at all.

No interpretation of a philosopher is infallible; I think you need to remember that.

Just pointing out hubris.
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