Jesus at 2000

Jesus at 2000

Jesus at 2000

Jesus at 2000

Synopsis

Jesus at 2000 has been written for a general audience and will be useful for those seeking an introduction to the controversial historical study of Jesus and Christian origins and to those wishing to examine the intricacies of the New Testament.

Excerpt

Huston Smith

Huston Smith is perhaps the best-known religious scholar in North America. He became famous more than three decades ago through his public television series the Religions of Man. His book with the same title is the best-selling book in the history of American academic religious publishing (revised edition in 1990 under the title The World's Religions). Other important books include Forgotten Truth (1976), Beyond the Post-Modern Mind (1989), Huston Smith Essays on World Religions (1995), and (with David Griffin) Primordial Truth and Postmodern Theology (1989).

He is also known for other television series and films. His films on Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism, and Sufism have all won awards at international film festivals. His movie Requiem for a Nation brought the world's attention to Tibetan Buddhist monks who can individually sing several notes at once. in 1996 national pubic television featured Smith in a five part series, The Wisdom of Faith, hosted by Bill Moyers .

Smith has taught at Washington University (St. Louis), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Syracuse University (where he was Thomas J. Watson Professor of Religion until he retired), and the University of California, Berkeley. As both a historian of religions and a philosopher, he is known for his empathetic interpretation of the great religions and for his critique of the intellectual assumptions of modernity in his lecture, Smith describes how he, after spending more than fifty years studying the religions of the world, sees Jesus.

Previous speakers at this symposium have focused on Jesus in his Mediterranean context and the Christian civilization that issued from his life. My job is to push back our horizons so that we can see Jesus in world historical terms. Gestalt psychologists have shown us that things look different when their backgrounds are changed; peripheral vision affects focal vision. So what Jesus do we see when we place him in the context of religious history in its entirety? There is an easy answer to that question, and there is a difficult one.

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