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Main Story at CNN this morning: John Dominic Crossan’s “A blasphemous portrait of Jesus”

imageYou should read the entire article, John Dominic Crossan’s ‘blasphemous’ portrait of Jesus – CNN.com, if you are not completely up-to-date about this scholar. In my opinion, Crossan, having taught for 25 years at DePaul University, America’s largest Catholic University – now Professor Emeritus of Comparative Religion – is significantly influencing the more liberal wings of Roman Catholic, Anglican and mainline Protestant traditions.

Note: the story has only been up for a little over an hour and there are well over one thousand comments already.

Jesus, according to Crossan, was not buried in a tomb and there was no Resurrection in any sense that might be thought of as supernatural. About the Shroud, he once wrote:

My best understanding is that the Shroud of Turin is a medieval relic-forgery.  I wonder whether it was done from a crucified dead body or from a crucified living body. That is the rather horrible question once you accept it as a forgery.

Here is a snippet from CNN this Sunday morning:

(CNN) — One of his first fan letters came from someone who declared:

"If Hell were not already created, it should be invented just for you."

Other critics have called him "demonic," "blasphemous" and a "schmuck."

When John Dominic Crossan was a teenager in Ireland, he dreamed of becoming a missionary priest. But the message he’s spreading about Jesus today isn’t the kind that would endear him to many church leaders.

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.

Jesus was extraordinary because of how he lived, not died, says Crossan, one of the world’s top scholars on the "historical Jesus," a field in which academics use historical evidence to reconstruct Jesus in his first-century setting.

"I cannot imagine a more miraculous life than nonviolent resistance to violence," Crossan says. "I cannot imagine a bigger miracle than a man standing in front of a tank in Tiananmen Square."

I’ve written about him before in this blog (Jesus as a Peasant Sage).

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