Brock and Parker begin their research perplexed by a riddle: Why are images of the crucified Christ absent from early Christian art? After visiting Mediterranean and European sites sacred to early Christians, Brock and Parker formulate a provocative answer: the dying Christ never appears in early Christian art because early Christians did not believe Christ’s redemptive death had opened a heavenly afterlife for the faithful. Rather, Brock and Parker assert, early Christians looked to Jesus as the exemplar who showed how to defy injustice by creating paradise on Earth in a loving community. In this theory, images of Christ’s passion and death invaded Christian art only when the Church started using a theology of otherworldly salvation to recruit the forces necessary to build a Christian empire. Skeptics may view with suspicion the authors’ willingness to substitute conjectural interpretations of art and heretical gnostic texts for plain readings of the orthodox biblical canon. However, as the response to The Da Vinci Code (2003) established, highly speculative retellings of Christian history attract readers. --Bryce Christensen --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
In the best tradition of theological inquiry, Saving Paradise provides a history and a theology that helps us engage the pressing problems of the world. . . . In Saving Paradise, Brock and Parker have brought forward a bright thread of the Christian tapestry that had been in the background, largely ignored. In so doing they have made accessible rich and vivid theological resources. —Margaret R. Miles, Christian Century
"This humane and often beautiful study of faith, loss and hope straddles the boundary between historical discovery and spiritual writing." —Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Saving Paradise offers eye-opening explorations of the mixture of spiritual vision and myopia that marked many of the great figures of Western Christianity. Its rich text and the additional material in its notes should spur readers to examine both the darkness and the light that can be found in all of us." —Darrell Turner, National Catholic Reporter
"Brock and Parker urge readers to see church history in a new light, with an eye toward social justice. . . . By re-emphasizing early Christians' focus on paradise, on the kingdom of God on Earth, the authors are convinced they are reclaiming authentic 'traditional' Christianity. It's a controversial thesis, deserving of debate and study."—Douglas Todd, Religion News Services
"This powerful, unprecedented, and compelling book brings real Christianity out of the shadows."—George Lakoff, author of Don't Think of an Elephant!
"Only rarely is a single book an event. This book is such a rarity."—Professor Daniel C. Maguire, author of A Moral Creed for All Christians
This book does not tie together. It jumps from on subject to the next and doesn't make a lot of sensePublished 2 months ago by Kindle account
Thanks for the great research that went into this book! The information is priceless! JeannettePublished 2 months ago by Jeannette B. Love
Book is difficult for me to read because I know little about religion but I am enjoying the history. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Lynn A. Ellsworth
The authors present an interpretation of Biblical writings that the world sorely needs. This history of early Christianity is one that is often overlooked or ignored.Published 3 months ago by Peter Krone
The book was based on well researched information. It was well written, very readable and extremely informative.Published 5 months ago by Marcella Burk Groon
I DID NOT BUY THE BOOK just to make it clear but from the what she said "Why are images of the crucified Christ absent from early Christian art? Read morePublished 7 months ago by Christian exmuslim
Makes a convincing argument on how the church establishment changed the original meaning of the Christ's life and message.Published 8 months ago by Suzanne McLean
An enthralling account of early Christianity and how it changed.Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
These two female theologians re-visited about 2,000 years of church history and art with fresh eyes - feminine eyes - and made some astounding discoveries in retrospect. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Jack D. Heacock