A Serious Way of Wondering by Reynolds Price
The Ethics of Jesus Imagined

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Synopsis

When renowned novelist and poet Reynolds Price, one of Christianity's most eloquent outlaws, was invited to deliver the annual Peabody Lecture at Harvard University Memorial Church in 2001, he chose to explore a subject that has produced fierce debate -- even wars and crusades -- and is still intensely relevant today: the ethics of Jesus. In two succeeding lectures at the National Cathedral and at Auburn Seminary, he continued the theme, exploring not only the apparently contradictory ethics that Jesus articulates in the Gospels but also constructing scenes that present Jesus with urgent dilemmas he never confronts there. In A Serious Way of Wondering, Price greatly expands those lectures and imagines Jesus in moments of confrontation with three problems of burning moral concern -- suicide, homosexuality, and the plight of women in male-dominated cultures and faiths.

It was while teaching a university course on the Gospels of Mark and John that Price first explored the ancient idea of expanding upon the Gospel narratives with further encounters between Jesus and troubled persons. Price has previously documented his studies in Three Gospels, a book in which he not only translated Mark and John from the Greek -- and discussed them extensively -- but also provided a third gospel of his own making. Price based the third gospel closely on the earliest sources but imagined his way into some of their baffling omissions. He continued those explorations when he wrote provocative new scenes for the cover story on Jesus in one of Time magazine's millennium issues.

Now, in this new book, Price offers a devoted and profoundly thought-provoking look at a subject that underlies vast areas of world civilization and has occupied the minds of many great thinkers. A sweeping view of the inescapable implications of Jesus' merciful life and all-embracing thought, and of the benefits of enlarging our notions of humane community, A Serious Way of Wondering is a significant contribution to Price's penetrating works of religious inquiry.

 

About Reynolds Price

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Reynolds Price (1933-2011) was born in Macon, North Carolina. Educated at Duke University and, as a Rhodes Scholar, at Merton College, Oxford University, he taught at Duke beginning in 1958 and was the James B. Duke Professor of English at the time of his death. Price is a member of both the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and his work has been translated into seventeen languages.
 
Published May 20, 2003 by Scribner. 146 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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A profoundly engaging essay in Christology, honoring Jesus' humane divinity and divine humanity.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of A Serious Way of Wondering: T...

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