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....

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