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Diverse Agendas at Work in the Jesus Quest

By Clive. Marsh


Metadata only entryThe Quest of the Historical Jesus has never only been about the quest\ud for Jesus. This simple yet significant conclusion is a major legacy of the\ud Quest’s history. A reading of the Quest’s history as a story of the search\ud for the grail of historical objectivity in the face of the obfuscating irritations\ud of ideology or subjectivity proves both oversimplified and\ud dangerously misleading. However laudable the quest for historical\ud objectivity might have been and be, it remains elusive. Objectivity\ud needs to be respected lest the narratives or pictorial portrayals of Jesus\ud which continue to prove culturally (religiously, socially, ethically and\ud politically) influential lose all connection with the man from Nazareth.\ud Attention to the many “interests” at work alongside the quest for\ud historical objectivity is, however, essential. These interests may not\ud prove of equal weight or be worth commending. But as some of these\ud “interests” might coincide with Jesus’ interests, the historical task of\ud narrating the life of this hugely significant figure entails teasing out\ud what interests these might have been, and whether such interests are\ud worth pressing in the way that the story of Jesus itself is written. The\ud historical Quest for Jesus is thus always also an ideological Quest too.\ud How the “agendas” at work within the various quests are to be understood\ud is the focus of this chapter

Publisher: Brill
Year: 2010
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