Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A book by the Pope....

I got an email from a friend that said Benedict is going to carry on the tradition of his predecessor of releasing a theological book aside from his formal theological tretises. John Paul II released two books, one called "Crossing the Threshold of Hope" and "Rise, let us be on our way" that were both personal reflections, basically. It's very interesting to think about the idea of a book in the context of papal documents but I'll spare you the disagreement over canonical identification. Instead, I am saying that I can't wait until I get to read this because it deals with understanding Jesus. Given the patently false assumptions that are out there by folks like Dan Brown, the Pope is going to address people that can't imagine the historical/church understanding of Jesus to be true. Here is a quote from what may be the introduction....

"Less justified in an historical "inquest" on Jesus, it seems to me, is the care with which Augias collects all of the insinuations about the presumed homosexual bonds existing among the disciples, or between Jesus and "the disciple whom he loved" (but wasn't he supposed to be in love with the Magdalene?), as also the detailed description of the sordid episodes of some of the women in the genealogy of Christ. One has the impression that this inquest on Jesus sometimes turns into gossip about Jesus.

But the phenomenon has an explanation. There has always existed the tendency to dress Christ in the clothing of one's own time or one's own ideology. In the past, as arguable as they were, there were serious causes of great depth: Christ as idealist, socialist, revolutionary... Our age, which is obsessed with sex, is unable to think of him except in relation to emotional problems. I believe that the combination of an openly alternative journalistic outlook together with an historical view that is also radical and minimalistic has produced a result that is on the whole unacceptable, not only for the man of faith, but also for the historian."

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