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Jesus in Asia
Author R. S. Sugirtharajah
Publisher Harvard University Press
ISBN 9780674051133
Classification Religion > Religious History
Price HK$285.00
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Reconstructions of Jesus occurred in Asia long before the Western search for the historical Jesus began in earnest. This enterprise sprang up in seventh-century China and seventeenth-century India, encouraged by the patronage and openness of the Chinese and Indian imperial courts. While the Western quest was largely a Protestant preoccupation, in Asia the search was marked by its diversity: participants included Hindus, Jains, Muslims, Catholics, and members of the Church of the East.

During the age of European colonialism, Jesus was first seen by many Asians as a tribal god of the farangis, or white Europeans. But as his story circulated, Asians remade Jesus, at times appreciatively and at other times critically. R. S. Sugirtharajah demonstrates how Buddhist and Taoist thought, combined with Christian insights, led to the creation of the Chinese Jesus Sutras of late antiquity, and explains the importance of a biography of Jesus composed in the sixteenth-century court of the Mughal emperor Akbar. He also brings to the fore the reconstructions of Jesus during the Chinese Taiping revolution, the Korean Minjung uprising, and the Indian and Sri Lankan anti-colonial movements.

In Jesus in Asia, Sugirtharajah situates the historical Jesus beyond the narrow confines of the West and offers an eye-opening new chapter in the story of global Christianity.

About the Author:

R. S. Sugirtharajah is Emeritus Professor of Biblical Hermeneutics at the University of Birmingham.

“Written by a distinguished scholar of Christianity and postcolonial studies, Jesus in Asia broadens our historical memory and enlivens our religious imagination. This book sharply contests the historical quest of Jesus in the West, and is remarkable in its broad historical and cultural reach—an invaluable recovery of Asian representations of Jesus.”—Kwok Pui-lan, author of Postcolonial Imagination and Feminist Theology

“Jesus in Asia is an extraordinary gift. With great erudition, Sugirtharajah illuminates a broad history of previously neglected writings on Jesus, across many centuries and from diverse parts of Asia, by Hindu, Buddhist, Confucian, and Jain scholars. By placing Jesus within Asian cultures and religions, this book offers a necessary challenge to the isolationism of Western Jesus studies.”—Halvor Moxnes, author of Jesus and the Rise of Nationalism: A New Quest for the Nineteenth-Century Historical Jesus

Introduction: The Asian Search for the Historical Jesus

1. Jesus in the Sutras, Stele, and Suras

2. The Heavenly Elder Brother

3. A Judean Jnana Guru

4. The Nonexistent Jesus

5. A Jaffna Man’s Jesus

6. Jesus as a Jain Tirthankara

7. An Upanishadic Mystic

8. A Minjung Messiah

9. Jesus in a Kimono

Conclusion: Our Jesus, Their Jesus




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