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The Thunder: Perfect Mind: A New Translation and Introduction [Hardcover]

Hal Taussig , Jared Calaway , Maia Kotrosits , Celene Lillie , Justin Lasser
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

November 23, 2010 0230105637 978-0230105638
This is the first book-length treatment in English of the Nag Hammadi text, The Thunder: Perfect Mind – a poem of “I am” statements that has garnered a strong following in mainstream culture. This book offers a fresh, current translation (with detailed Coptic annotations) and ten chapters of introductory analysis of the text. Approaching the text from socio-historical, literary, and postmodern gender-theoretical frameworks, the editors situate Thunder as an early Christian text - away from the now suspect category of “Gnosticism” - and offer conclusions on its possible ancient meanings, as well as its interpretive possibilities for the present moment.

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Hal Taussig is Visiting Professor of New Testament at Union Theological Seminary in New York. Jared Calaway received his Ph.D. in Religion from Columbia University. Maia Kotrosits, Celene Lillie, and Justin Lasser are Ph.D. students at Union Theological Seminary in New York. Taussig is also the author of In the Beginning Was the Meal: Social Experimentation and Early Christian Identity; Jesus Before God: The Prayer Life of the Historical Jesus; five other books, and numerous scholarly articles.


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 202 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (November 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230105637
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230105638
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,271,854 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Round and round in gender circles January 4, 2011
By Jezza
Format:Hardcover
I am researching this and other works from the period for my own interest. When I started to read this book, I was carried along by the enthusiasm (there's heaps of it) of the writers and the genuinely interesting take they have on this Coptic tractate. The analysis runs for nearly one hundred pages and by about half way through I had the uncanny feeling of déjà vu, that I was reading the same stuff over and over, only worded a little differently. In fact the authors keep repeating their key points and they love long mouthfuls of wordfull wordy words. For example (p94) 'Through the combination of its overwhelming ironies, the focus on the "I," and its endlessly and improvisational rhythm, it opens up a space for provisional and embodied identities beyond the dominant presumption.' I think they may have been talking about their own writing.

Hal Taussig and co. have certainly put great effort into the translation which seemingly builds on the works of previous translators, particularly in regard to gender ambiguity. I would have been happier if they had cut the flowery intellectual hyperbole and reduced their thesis to 30 pages instead of 100. I was also disappointed that there is very little solid reference to historical context and culture - I would have liked more meat and less gravy. But the book is still well worth the buy if you are inspired by this fabulous work from the ancient world.
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