Sunday, July 11, 2010

Christopher Hitchens Reviews 'The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ'

Christopher Hitchens talks on Philip Pullman's recent book, The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ.

Found on

1 comment:

Peter said...

I'm a huge fan of Hitchens, but I'm not so sure his position against Jesus as a moral teacher is so applicable here. It seemed in the book that Pullman wasn't saying everything Jesus did and said was moral and that he was a great moral teacher. Rather, he really emphasizes the human side of him and portrays Jesus as trying to do the right thing. I would cite how Pullman has Christ talk about how some of Jesus' teachings, like having no thought for the morrow, hating your family, and bringing a sword and not peace, don't make sense to him and don't seem virtuous. It is these same passages Hitchens often speaks about to show Jesus was not a moral person and cannot be considered a great moral teacher. Pullman does not then explain what is virtuous about these things, and it is this, coupled with the moving atheist soliloquy of prayer that Jesus undergoes in Gethsemane that would cause me to think that Hitchens's conclusion is oversimplified and that Pullman is more concerned with Jesus's humanity and his attempts to try to do what is right than with him being a great moral teacher based on his moral pronouncements. Though Christ does comment on how Jesus wanted people to be perfect, too perfect in fact, so maybe Pullman sees some of the things he said as moral, it's difficult to pin him down.

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