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Books  >>  Religion

Garry Wills

What Jesus Meant

Garry Wills What Jesus Meant
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In what are billed “culture wars,” people on the political right and the political left cite Jesus as endorsing their views. Garry Wills argues that Jesus subscribed to no political program. He was far more radical than that. In a fresh reading of the gospels, Wills explores the meaning of the “reign of heaven” Jesus not only promised for the future but brought with him into this life. It is only by dodges and evasions that people misrepresent what Jesus plainly had to say against power, the wealthy, and religion itself. But Wills is just as critical of those who would make Jesus a mere ethical teacher, ignoring or playing down his divinity. An illuminating analysis for believers and nonbelievers alike, What Jesus Meant is a brilliant addition to our national conversation on religion.

A spiritual workout. (Newsweek)

Engaging and provocative. (Chicago Tribune)

Fascinating . . . like a long, rich conversation with a learned friend . . . [Wills’s] is a kind of devotion . . . that engages the heart and mind, to the benefit of both. (Jon Meacham, The New York Times Book Review)

Provocative. (Esquire)

[A] stimulating, fresh look into the life and message of Jesus of Nazareth. (Publishers Weekly)

Faithful to the heart of tradition, yet entirely original, Garry Wills’s meditation cuts through cant, piety and political exploitation to bring Jesus alive in all his urgent significance. (James Carroll, author of Constantine’s Sword)

One of our foremost public intellectuals (Chicago Tribune)


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