Sunday, August 16, 2009

A good read

Two friends have insisted that I read anything by James K. A. Smith, so I took up the challenge and purchased Introducing Radical Orthodoxy: Mapping a Post-Secular Theology, Milton Keynes: Paternoster, 2004, and Who's Afraid of Postmodernism?: Taking Derrida, Lyotard, and Foucault to Church, Grand Rapids: Baker, 2007, is in the post.

I'm only 90 pages into the first but I highly recommend it: deeply learned, clearly written and best of all I am having many 'aha!' moments.

Michael Bird's little book, Are You the One Who Is to Come?: The Historical Jesus and the Messianic Question, Grand Rapids: Baker, 2009, happily dropped through the letterbox the other day, which I really look forward to reading in more depth. I quickly purchased another roughly related book from a completely different perspective to add a bit of zest to the summer. Namely, Thomas L. Thompson's The Messiah Myth: The Near Eastern Roots of Jesus and David, London: Pimlico, 2007 which comes with back cover blurb stating 'the Jesus of the gospels never existed'. I might take this last one on holiday with me, actually.

I suppose I should look for the links to the other books, but I can't be bothered. Bung 'em in Google yourselves!


At 8/17/2009 2:48 AM, Anonymous steph said...

From one extreme to the other ;-) Tom's logic is great fun: according to it, the fact I wrote a comment on your blog the other day means I can't be writing one now - and the fact that other people write comments means that they are imaginary people.

Mind you blogging is probably a bad analogy. It's such an unreal world anyway. I probably don't actually really exist at all. :-)

At 8/17/2009 10:52 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...


Any suggestions for a middle road?

I am nearer MB's perspective on this matter, but I really enjoy books like TT's - I think I learn lots from entirely different perspectives. One reason why I prefer a Küng (Catholic) Bio over a Moltmann (Protestant).

At 8/18/2009 1:24 PM, Anonymous steph said...

I dunno about 'middle road' - sounds a bit mediocre! But of course I would say wouldn't I, a certain somebody's forthcoming volume not only explains the historical Jewish context of 'messiah' in the life of Jesus, but he also gives an up to date demonstration of the historicity of Jesus (for goodness sake that it has to be done again). Le prof Maurice Casey does a splendid job sorting out the material with expertise in Aramaic added to conventional methodology.


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