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Christ: A Crisis in the Life of God-Jack Miles

  • Title: Christ: A Crisis in the Life of God
  • Author: Jack Miles
  • Released: 2001-10-30
  • Language:
  • Pages: 368
  • ISBN: 0375400141
  • ISBN13: 978-0375400148
  • ASIN: 0375400141

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Bucking the trend of books about "the historical Jesus," Jack Miles offers a purely literary reading of the New Testament--rendering Jesus as a character whose history spans all of time, from the beginning to the end. Continuing the work begun in his Pulitzer prize-winning , Miles considers the New Testament the next chapter of an ongoing story. The central question of this chapter is, "Why does [God] become a man?" In Miles's reading, God "has something appalling to say that he can say only by humiliating himself." The world's inherent flaws, its pervasive injustice and cruelty, comprise "a great crime" for which someone must pay. "Mythologically read, the New Testament is the story of how someone, the right someone, does pay for it." As God, in the form of Christ, pays the price for His own mistakes, the crucifixion "saves us from the violence that we might otherwise feel justified in inflicting on one another." Ingeniously argued and masterfully paced, this book presents an original and unsettling portrait of Christ. Whatever readers think of Miles's premise--that God is heroic but not saintly--the book will certainly force them to reexamine Christ's relevance to moral life. --Michael Joseph Gross

From Publishers Weekly In God: A Biography, Miles observed that God undergoes remarkable changes in the biblical narrative, moving from action to silence. In this astonishing new book, Miles applies the same method to Jesus, God Incarnate, with even more remarkable results, arguing that "the changing of the mind of God is the great subject, the epic argument, of the Christian Bible." Engaging in close readings of the Gospels (particularly John's), as well as sweeping impressions of the entire Bible, Miles intriguingly shows that God's incarnation in humanity was a way of talking once again to God's people. After Israel experienced defeat at the hands of the Babylonians, God promised to defeat this enemy, restoring Israel. But, forgetting this promise, God allowed Israel to continue to suffer, even as God struggled to address the situation in a different, less violent way. Miles argues that when God became human in Jesus of Nazareth, God suffered with Israel, and offered some revolutionary new teachings that indicate a change of mind. As God Incarnate, Jesus taught humanity that he must die in order to bring about a restored paradise. Weaving philosophy and literature into his reflections on the Bible, Miles offers literary perspectives on the life of Christ that are at once provocative and revelatory. After reading this book, one can never look at God, Jesus or the Bible in quite the same way. (Nov. 5)Forecast: Miles's God: A Biography nabbed a Pulitzer Prize and enjoyed exceptional sales; Knopf hopes that this follow-up, which is a selection of the BOMC, History Book Club and QPB, will achieve similar heights. The title will launch with a 60,000-copy print run.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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