Monday, September 17, 2012
My Most Recent Project is Available! - Le Donne
I just laid my hands on this today. The book is called Soundings in the Religion of Jesus: Perspectives and Methods in Jewish and Christian Scholarship. Fortress Press, as always, really puts out a fine product.
From the beginning, I envisioned this as a good classroom text for courses on Jesus and courses on World Religions. Half of the chapters are written by prominent Jewish scholars and half are written by Christian scholars. All of us write with an eye toward contemporary Jewish-Christian dialogue. The idea here, and I admit that I think it is a good one, is to talk about Jesus and the "Religion of Jesus" (i.e. Judaism and/or Christianity, depending on your perspective) with unabashed religious commitments. So rather than hiding behind the veil of "objectivity" and leaving the reader to guess what agenda might be at work, this book is a step toward honest and responsible subjectivity. But because there are multiple traditions represented (Reform, Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant, etc) and multiple regions represented (Canada, Germany, Israel, UK, USA, etc) this book provides several and varied portraits of Jesus.
Moreover, and perhaps most importantly, each chapter demonstrates concern for the well-being of the perceived "other" in inter-religious dialogue. The tone of the book is not sectarian in the "us vs. them" sense of that word.
We attempt to model a productive Jewish-Christian dialogue and this means that we don't pretend that we are all the same. The final chapters by James D.G. Dunn, Amy-Jill Levine, Bruce Chilton and Jacob Neusner demonstrate that the fuzzy days of blurring the important differences between sibling religions are over. None of these authors pull their punches; they do not dull down their research to appear more moderate.
Here is an excerpt from my introduction:
The always brilliant and generous Adele Reinhartz writes the foreword; Michael Cook, Leonard Greenspoon, Anne Lapidus Lerner, Joel Lohr, Eyal Regev, Gerd Theissen, Dagmar Winter, and I write the primary chapters. As mentioned, Jimmy and A.-J. write responses. Bruce and Jack collaborate on the conclusion.
We are quite proud of this venture; I hope that you will find this book useful.