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Desire of the Everlasting Hills the World Before and After Jesus

by Thomas Cahill

  • ISBN: 9780385482516
  • ISBN10: 0385482515

Desire of the Everlasting Hills the World Before and After Jesus

by Thomas Cahill

  • List Price: $24.95
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Edition: 1
  • Publisher: Bantam Dell Pub Group
  • Publish date: 11/01/1999
  • ISBN: 9780385482516
  • ISBN10: 0385482515
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Description: At the heart of Thomas Cahill's Hinges of History series is the ambition "to retell the story of the Western world as the story of great gift-givers". In "Desire of the Everlasting Hills", with the same lively narration and irresistible perceptions that characterize the first two volumes, Cahill illuminates the essential role of the man taken by so many to be the central figure of Western civilization: Jesus of Nazareth.

Cahill begins with the social and political context into which Jesus was born by introducing "the people Jesus knew", showing that to understand Jesus the oppressive Roman political presence, the pervasive Greek cultural influence, and especially the widely varied social and religious context of the Judaism in which Jesus moved and flourished must be understood. Cahill then gives a shrewd and original interpretation of the New Testament that will delight readers and even surprise biblical scholars.

Cahill's most unusual skill may lie in his ability to bring to life people of a faraway world whose concerns seem at first to be utterly removed from the present day. His portrait of Jesus evokes a real person, sharp-witted and sharp-tongued, but kind, humorous, and affectionate, shadowed by the inevitable climax of crucifixion, the cruelest form of execution ever devised by humankind. Mary, while not quite the "perpetual virgin" of popular piety, is a vivid presence and forceful influence on her son. The apostle Paul, the carrier of Jesus' message and most important figure in the early Jesus movement (which became Christianity), finds rehabilitation in Cahill's astonishing portrayal of him as "the first person in history to...believe nothing -- not birth, nor ethnicity,nor economic status, nor class, nor gender -- makes anyone better than anyone else".

This is a book for Jews and Christians, believers and agnostics, an interpretive history that invites readers into an ancient world to commune with some of the most influential people who ever lived.

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