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Publisher's Summary

A New York Times best-selling and widely admired Catholic writer explores how we can retrieve transcendent faith in modern times
Critically acclaimed and best-selling author James Carroll has explored every aspect of Christianity, faith, and Jesus Christ, except this central one: What can we believe about - and how can we believe in - Jesus in the 21st century in light of the atrocities of the 20th century and the drift from religion that followed?
What Carroll has discovered through decades of writing and lecturing is that he is far from alone in clinging to a received memory of Jesus that separates him from his crucial identity as a Jew, and therefore as a human. Yet if Jesus were not taken as divine, he would be of no interest to us. What can that mean now? Paradoxically, the key is his permanent Jewishness. No Christian himself, Jesus actually transcends Christianity.
Drawing on both a wide range of scholarship as well as his own acute searching as a believer, Carroll takes a fresh look at the most familiar narratives of all - Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Not simply another book about the "historical Jesus," he takes the challenges of science and contemporary philosophy seriously, even as he retrieves the power of Jesus' profound ordinariness, as an answer to his own last question - what is the future of Jesus Christ? - as the key to a renewal of faith.
©2014 James Carroll (P)2014 Penguin
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Customer Reviews

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By Kevin on 01-04-15

I was hoping for more ...

Mr. Carroll presents an insightful christology. I appreciate the importance of the roman/jewish wars in a new way. There are several other aspects that make the listen ultimately have value, but - for me - it lacked a passion that I was hoping for. I heard echoes of the 60's & 70's theology as well as the mandatory nod to the backdrop of the holocaust, nuclear war and quantum physics,however, I don't think he answers his ultimate question - "who is Jesus, actually?" in a way that can be understood by people w/o a strong background in Theology. He quotes "theology is for the elite and myth is for the masses". I guess I need more reflection on the "myth!"

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By Arken on 11-25-14

Good book - hire a real reader

Even good books can be diminished by bad readers, and that is the case here. Lots of very good insights, an interesting personal story, a very good book for the 21st Century Catholic looking for something other than the usual triumphalist bunkum. But, really, leave the reading to the professionals. The author seems to think that getting emotional and dramatic in places is the best way to convey his point, when really it just makes you want to turn it off.

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