This learned volume, by a distinguished professor of biblical studies, can be read and assessed on two levels. First, to my knowledge it is the most detailed and nuanced presentation ever made of the reception of the person of Jesus in Asia (with or without the appellation “Christ,” and often enough without Christianity). Second, Sugirtharajah is doing much more than adding new information about Jesus's presence in Asia. Himself an interpreter of the Bible and well aware of the history of its interpretation, Sugirtharajah is proposing an alternative to the quest to discover the real Jesus of history that has flourished since Albert Schweitzer's Quest of the Historical Jesus (1906). This search even today has some life to it; think of John Meier's magisterial A Marginal Jew, in at least five volumes, and the popularity of the writings of Bart Ehrman....
Jesus in Asia
Francis X. Clooney, SJ, Parkman Professor of Divinity at Harvard University and a fellow of the British Academy, is the author of His Hiding Place Is Darkness: A Hindu-Catholic Theopoetics of Divine Absence; The New Comparative Theology: Interreligious Insights from the Next Generation; Learning Interreligiously; Beyond Compare: St. Francis and Sri Vedanta Desika on Loving Surrender to God; Theology after Vedanta; Thinking Ritually: Retrieving the Purva Mimamsa of Jaimini; How to Do Comparative Theology; The Future of Hindu-Christian Studies; and The Truth, the Way, the Life: Christian Commentary on the Three Holy Mantras of the Srivaisnava.
Francis X. Clooney; Jesus in Asia. Common Knowledge 1 May 2021; 27 (2): 311–312. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/0961754X-8906215
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