Thursday, January 12, 2006

Some vintage Wright

"I propose that, when faced with the historical problem of the resurrection of Jesus and the rise of Christianity, the only way forward is to grasp the nettle, to recognize that history drives us to the borders of language, of philosophy, of theology, and of history itself, and to point out as best we can that the only explanation that will fit all the evidence available is that Jesus of Nazareth was indeed bodily raised from the dead on Easter morning...

"But if at this moment of history, when the Western world faces the crisis of postmodernity, we are to rule out all such questions and retreat either into the barren wastelands of modernity or to the sterile quicksands of postmodernity, we are indeed of all people the most to be pitied."

- N.T. Wright, The Resurrection of the Son of God


Blogger Matthew Francis said...

I generally quite like Tom Wright and his whole approach to the Scriptures, and will look forward to commenting more fullsomely a little later...particularly in interaction with another excellent book on the Resurrection by Rowan Williams called "Resurrection: Interpreting the Easter Gospel" (London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 1982). I read this book a few years back, and a good friend of mine brought it to mind.

3:26 PM  
Blogger Stacy said...

Wow, that was excellent Matthew! Thank you for posting it.

This was my favorite part: "...the only way forward is to grasp the nettle, to recognize that history drives us to the borders of language, of philosophy, of theology, and of history itself..."

I too like Rowan Williams. Victoria recently posted something by Nouwen who is another of my favorite authors. Apparently we INFP's have excellent taste in books.

5:47 AM  
Blogger Matthew Francis said...

I love Nouwen as well, especially his journals/diaries. Of his 'formal' books my favourites are "Reaching Out," and "The Inner Voice of Love."

My friend John, who writes BADMASH had this to say:

"Hey Matt,

So NT Wright (are his initials a mere coincidence - I think not!). I've read bits of TRotSOG, but I have to say that despite it's formidable scholarship, I find that the approach undermines its position. If the ressurection as a concept has changed over time in Jewish history, then surely the event as recorded in the Gospels is 1) more significant than the positivism which Wright seems to be aiming us at and 2) also more open to interpretation.

I find Rowan William's (to whom the book is dedicated) approach far more engaging. While Williams is dogmatic on the point of the ressurection as an historical event, he is far more agnostic as to its exact nature (and he bases this on the accounts from the Gospels) choosing instead to follow the narrative of the resurrection drama as it unfolds while unpacking the conceptual/symbolic baggage rooted in Jewish history as we go. I prefer this minimalist approach and I agree with Williams on the point that this is really as far as one can go."

I think John makes a very solid point in the comparison of Wright and Williams' historical/theological approaches.

I guess you could say that I've started to think about the Resurrection a little early this year.

7:33 AM  
Blogger matthew christopher davidson said...


I just picked up and read Crossan and Wright's dialogue, "The Resurrection of Jesus". I highly recommend it. I found a few of the contributors (several scholars contribute articles commenting on their discussion) somewhat tedious, but overall the discussion was very enlightening.

Crossan was actually quite amicable. His contribution, along with Alan Segal's, raised several excellent correctives and clarifiers for Wright's argument in TROTSOG. I intend to post a review in the next few days. I hope to discuss it with you when you come...I am quite excited about that, by the way! Hopefully we can have coffee and stroll at some point during your visit.



9:40 PM  
Blogger Matthew Francis said...

Brilliant. That book sounds excellent. I quite like Crossan's Irish wit.

It'll be great to come out there and see you... perhaps a week later or something... Fr. John and Fr. Chris are still working out all the times and details.

10:02 AM  

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