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conversations with Jesus of Nazareth Hardcover – 10 Sep 2010

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 168 pages
  • Publisher: White Crow Books (10 Sept. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1907661433
  • ISBN-13: 978-1907661433
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,056,248 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


"Since Jesus was born long before the age of the in-depth interview, the brief conversations recorded in the Gospels often leave you wanting more. But now Jesus has a new conversation partner as Simon Parke sits with the man from Nazareth to talk, question, interrupt, joke, answer back and - above all - listen in frequent surprise to the words of Jesus. It's not too strong to say that the result is a revelation, because the drama of the conversation opens up the life and teaching of Jesus in a fresh and unexpected way. Simon Parke's brilliant matching of engaging dialogue with verses from the Gospels has created a new kind of Gospel for readers today." Simon Jenkins, editor of THE NEW YORKER August 30th 2010 SIMON PARKE SPEAKS WITH THE DEAD Book trailers-the low-budget previews modelled on those used by the film industry-have quickly grown tiresome. They're never very interesting, often overly impressionistic and pretentious, and rarely rise above the level of those silly historical reA"nactments you see on cable. They might get better over time, or die out; either is preferable to their current state. An exception, though, are the finely wrought previews for Simon Parke's Conversations with - A" biographies, published by White Crow Books. In this series, Parke bypasses the more quotidian aspects of historical biography by conducting interviewsA" with his subjects-Jesus, Meister Eckhart, Arthur Conan Doyle, Vincent van Gogh, and Leo Tolstoy-with the answers coming from their published writings. The trailers are stagey-with Parke and the actor playing his subject shown in the recording studio while a musical score soars behind their voices-yet the interviews nonetheless feel natural. Much of this feeling owes to the straightforward and unadorned nature of the exchanges, as when Parke asks Vincent van Gogh why he drinks, and the master answers, If the storm gets too loud, I take a glass too much to stun myself.A" The shot cuts to At Eternity's Gate,A" van Gogh's portrait of a man with his head in his hands, but you can imagine the whorls and swirls of the artist's favored darkened skies as well. Here, Parke conducts his interview with Tolstoy in the assured and chatty style of a British talk-show host: This gambit may be viewed as simply a clever gimmick, but there is something compelling about Parke's style, which in a way that is always promised but rarely delivered, does, in fact, bring his subjects to life. Parke's role as the good-natured interlocutor seems to be an essential component of the project, a disposition on display in this cheeky description of his imagined time spent with Tolstoy: He also proved an appalling husband, hated Shakespeare, never came to terms with his sexual appetite and yet had a profound influence on the non-violence of the young Gandhi. My time at Yasnaya Polyana, Tolstoy's country estate, was never dull; and sometimes, surprisingly comic. Soon after I left the great man, at the age of 82, he ran away from home. by Ian Crouch Loose leafs from the New Yorker Books Department.

About the Author

Jesus of Nazareth - born Joshua bar Joseph - lived for 33 years in the 1st century AD, before he was executed by the Roman authorities on charges of blasphemy. He was taken to Skull Hill outside Jerusalem and crucified. He died a lonely figure, with only four supporters at the foot of the cross, one of whom was his mother. Few could have imagined a world religion would take shape around this broken and defeated body. So who on earth was Jesus and what was he like? He was from artisan stock, from the world of small farmers and independent craftsmen; a son of the Galilean countryside and never at home in the cities. He was also a man of supreme courage, prepared to take on the power structures of his day, in word and deed, whenever they threatened the principles of justice and mercy. He did not spare opponents, calling Herod 'a fox' and the Pharisees, 'whitewashed tombs.' He could be physically violent, evicting salesmen from the temple using a whip. But he had an eye for those who needed help, those on the edge of society. His opponents regularly criticised him for mixing with the wrong people; Jesus, however, looked not at outward appearance or status but at the heart. He ridiculed much religious practice, but exalted children. He told stories about the Kingdom of God; reputedly healed many; fell out with his family and despaired of his followers. Amidst his busy life, he would withdraw into the hills early to pray; and when his opponents finally had him crucified, he shouted from the cross, 'Forgive them, father, they don't know what they're doing.' Palestine in the first century was a political time bomb and a place of hardening religious codes. It was in this setting that Jesus preached the Kingdom of God, an inner state which began with trust in God and the openness of a child; for this he was killed. The twist in the tail is that his followers claimed he came back to life; that death couldn't hold him. It's a claim still made by Christians today. In 'Conversations with Jesus of Nazareth', we meet the man behind the myth. The questions are imagined, but Jesus' words are not; all of his words are taken from the records of his life in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Thomas. Some called him the messiah, others a blasphemer; but you will come to your own conclusions. As Jesus himself once asked Peter, 'Who do you say that I am?'

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