Resurrection: Myth or Reality?: A Bishop's Search for the Origins of Christianity

John Shelby Spong, Author HarperOne $20 (320p) ISBN 978-0-06-067546-2
Continuing his project of making Christianity viable in a secular world, Bishop Spong here pursues the mystery of Easter. The solutions he proposes are not grounded in a literal understanding of the Bible; nor are they based in a quest for the historical Jesus. Easter, for Spong, was not a supernatural event that occurred inside human history. He asserts that even though Jesus was of history, we will never know all that Jesus was or meant. Most especially, we will never know exactly what happened on that moment that is called Easter. What we can know is that the first Christians became convinced that Jesus did not die and, to express the intensity of their experience, they used the language and style of midrash. Thus, Bishop Spong believes that to enter the meaning of the Gospels, to enter the experience of Easter, it is necessary to enter the tradition of midrash. His book, consequently, is a long and complex journey into the images of the biblical texts, the midrashic vehicles employed to carry the transcendent meaning of Easter. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/31/1994
Release date: 02/01/1994
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