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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Alternative Christs
Hammer, Olav, editor

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009 pp. x + 305. $93.00


Description: Few, if any, individuals have had such a profound influence on Western culture as Jesus, even though not a single detail of his life or teaching can be confirmed with certainty. This lack of reliable biographical data has left his life open to broad interpretation. Jesus, gnostic and apocryphal sources insist, never truly died on the cross since he was a divine being, whose human frame was an illusion. Muslim sources affirm that Jesus was a prophet of God and will return at the end of time. Jörg Lanz von Liebenfels formulated racial theories in which Jesus was a redeemer for Aryans only, while the Renaissance polymath Guillaume Postel was convinced that Christ had returned as a Venetian woman. This book explores these and other views without taking sides in any theological arguments and presents research on a variety of alternative Christologies. • Presents a fascinating array of interpretations of Jesus, from divine illusion to racist redeemer • A unique collection of cutting-edge research • Chapters cover older as well as more recent religions, providing a cross-cultural overview

Subjects: Methods, Historical Approaches, History, Early Church Origins

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Review by Brent Landau
Published 12/27/2010
Citation: Brent Landau, review of Olav Hammer, ed., Alternative Christs, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2010).


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