For a generation after his death his surviving associates preserved good traditions about the message of Jesus. Then disaster struck: it began to be believed that he was risen, exalted to heaven, and soon to return to establish his kingdom on earth. A cult of Jesus' person and fictitious lives of him quickly followed, and the surviving traditions of his actual teaching became totally blurred - as they still are.Since then, nobody has ventured to assess Jesus seriously, as a thinker. But today, as the supernatural beliefs fade, and better reconstructions of his teaching have become available, Don Cupitt thinks we can at least question Jesus from the standpoint of philosophy. Just how original and important is he? What is the status of his ideas: was he a religious figure at all, and why did he arouse such fierce antagonism? The Jesus who emerges from this enquiry is an astonishing figure, and much bigger than the insipid Christ of popular faith. Don Cupitt is a philosopher of religion and the author of over 40 books. He is a Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge.