2007-04-01

Existential Jesus — another review

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by Neil Godfrey

youngalexander has alerted me/the iidb list to a new review of John Carroll’s book.

It’s in The Age, a review by another sociology professor, Gary Bouma. Promising an extract next week.

I like many of the insights Carroll offers into the Gospel of Mark, and make heavy use of his footnotes. But I find JC’s (ie. John Carroll’s) sense of “spirituality”, however well integrated in his existentialist philosophy, just too much to handle. Carroll is using the text to express and explore his existentialism. I find it of interest that the gospel of Mark can lend itself to that. But he must read his understanding of “being” into the text. Unlike Carroll, I don’t know what Mark was thinking were the inner thoughts and feelings of any of the characters, and suspect he never for a moment thought his strictly literary and theological creations would have had any apart from what he gave them on the page. My interest is in understanding the text historically and to that end I crave any study that casts new light on the nature of the text. Carroll gives many tidbits of insights in that area, and that is where my interest ends.

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Neil Godfrey

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