The Christian Jesus

Faith in the Finding

Kenneth Cragg was first in Jerusalem in 1939, and subsequently became deeply involved in areas of faith between Semitic religions under the stress of current politics. He later pursued doctoral studies in Oxford where he first graduated and became ‘Prizeman’ in Theology and Moral Philosophy, and where he is now an Honorary Fellow of Jesus College. He was a Bishop in the Anglican Jurisdiction in Jerusalem and elsewhere in the Middle East, and played ecclesiastical roles in Africa and India. A Certain Sympathy of Scriptures is a companion book to his Readings in the Qur’an (1988; 1999), and more broadly to his Faiths in Their Pronouns: Websites of Identity (2002). Other works by Bishop Cragg, and published by Sussex Academic Press, include: With God in Human Trust – Christian Faith and Contemporary Humanism; The Weight in the Word – Prophethood, Biblical and Quranic; and The Education of Christian Faith.

There are so many versions of ‘The man from Nazareth’ as to make The Christian Jesus liable to seem a pretentious or aggressive title. That a Christian Jesus exists for historic faith is not in doubt – and is explored here with the help both of poetry and theology. Diverse versions of a ‘Christian Jesus’ do not preclude the sundry cases for the ‘Muslim Jesus’, ‘the Hindu Jesus’, and most of all for the ‘Jewish Jesus’. Indeed the third, during the last half century, has been vigorously presented by Jewish scholarship.

Anti-Semitism lurks around perceptions of Jesus as the Christ, and vigilance is in order against the threat it holds for open-hearted study. Jesus as supremely Jewish has never sanely been in doubt. But ‘Of what manner of Jew?’ is much contended. He only has the ‘Christian’ descriptive inside the abiding reality of the ‘Jewish’. It was from the very heart of ‘Jewishness’ and its ‘Messiah’ that he and his immediate Jewish disciples gave to human history a confidence concerning ‘God in Christ’ – a confidence instinctively and rightly called ‘Christian’. New Testament writings tell a faith – of which Jesus is the theme and centre – read as the incidence of the divine in the human, the earthly happening of the eternal intention. Of a ‘Jesus’ who has well-nigh innumerable descriptives, this is the Christian one

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-898595-42-7
Paperback Price: £12.95 / $19.95
Release Date: February 2003
Page Extent / Format: 144 pp. / 229 x 152 mm
Illustrated: No


Prefatory Note

Introduction: How and Why 'Christian'?

Chapter One Poets in the Telling
Chapter Two Time's Sacrament
Chapter Three Mary with Magnificat
Chapter Four Our Lord Jesus Christ
Chapter Five According to the Scriptures
Chapter Six Disputanda
Chapter Seven Love's Exchange

Index of Themes
Index of Names and Terms
Biblical References

Kenneth Cragg’s erudition takes us into a world of poetry, art, and philosophical theology; of the Jewishness of Jesus; and of dialogue with Islam. In this wide-ranging essay, Cragg shows us that Christian faith consists in a will to faith, a will kindled by the truth that waits for it. ‘Trust in Christ, in the Christ-likeness of God, is a venture, not a theory or a gamble.’ It is in having the ‘courage to believe’ that one encounters Christ's transforming love and is driven in love's name to serve a suffering world.
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