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Of Men and Muses Paperback – November 3, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 210 pages
  • Publisher: lulu.com (November 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 055707312X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0557073122
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,571,228 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
5 star
86%
4 star
14%
3 star
0%
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1 star
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See all 7 customer reviews
This book was a pleasure for me to read.
Shaun P. Mcgonigal
With so much already written on the Historical Jesus question, it is easy to declare a never-ending stale mate and ignore the enterprise altogether.
Richard Rodriguez
The only criticism I have regarding the book is that it is a much easier read if you are a scholar or an academic.
L. Mendoza

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Lucian Goldman on June 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
On an already stuffed shelf of stuffed shirted would be explicators of our common literary and religious myths, Mr. Verenna makes ample room for himself, with his clear headed, concise and at times, witty debut. Though I am a stranger to the scholary approach he applies to the subjects written about in OF MEN AND MUSES, I found it easily accessible to a layman such as myself, and at all times extremely well written,engaging and rare for a book of this type, tremendously entertaining.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Shaun P. Mcgonigal on July 28, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book was a pleasure for me to read. It's clear and concise definitions of minimalism, it's challenging and yet insightful criticism of bias in some academic circles, and it's occasional flourish of wit and humor made this book a very fine and enjoyable read.

Thomas S. Verenna's insight into the role of the history writer of antiquity is a lesson even for us today. Much like the spin of today's media, the writing of ancient people whether in creating history, religion, literature, were creating a narrative; a story. Why a person writes a gospel, an epistle, or any other story is not always answered best by saying that they wanted to record what happened. We human beings are more complicated than to merely be record-keepers, and our creations seek more than the where, when, and how. We seek meaning in that we create it first.

Verenna's collection of essays deals with various facets of ancient literature, history and religion in ways that challenge not only many common misconceptions but also much of academic bias that has been left unchallenged for far too long. From what we know about Paul and his influences, the ancient Israel and its identity, and to whether or not reading the Torah to the communities in the first century was common, it is a collection of thoughts worthy of the attention of both the laymen and the professional.

Whether evaluating the many attempts to academically investigate the authenticity and import of Jesus' life and sayings (including the Jesus Seminar), an overview of historical minimalism as well as a defense of it in response to the so-called `maximalism' (which is reminiscent of methodologies used by creationists in the field of biology), or a comparison of various tropes such as the dead that cannot rest from Homer to the Bible, Verenna takes us on a tour of ancient literature in a way that seeks to re-connect religion and myth, sacred and story, canon and canard.
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Richard Rodriguez on June 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
With so much already written on the Historical Jesus question, it is easy to declare a never-ending stale mate and ignore the enterprise altogether. However, Mr. Verenna has taken the challenge a step further by requiring the reader to question the reasons for many of the assumptions made by a large body of scholarship. Too many scholars approach this issue with pre-conceived subjective conclusions and find and report "evidence" to support their predetermined hypothesis. Undoubtedly, this book will receive attacks from detractors - I ask that you consider the arguments laid out by Mr. Verenna and not be swayed by the inevitable ad hominem attacks that have plagued and clouded the world from inquiry, reason and the ability to think a new. Bravo! To Mr. Verenna, I am proud to have this book on my shelf next to the great light of textual criticism. ~ Rich Rodriguez
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Michael A. Thompson on June 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
Thomas Verenna not only challenges long-held presuppositions about the historical existence of biblical figures, the historical reliability of the Bible, and how similar sacred texts are to fictional literature of the day. He is also able to relate those ideas in a manner that is understood by scholar and layman alike. Thomas presents the data in an objective manner that any independently-minded reader will appreciate. Outstanding job!
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