Resurrecting Easter

How the West Lost and the East Kept the Original Easter Vision

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John Dominic Crossan, Sarah Crossan
  • New York, NY: 
    HarperOne
    , February
     2018.
     224 pages.
     $39.99.
     Hardcover.
    ISBN
    9780062434180.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Chang Seon An forthcoming.

Description

In this four-color illustrated journey that is part travelogue and part theological investigation, bestselling author and acclaimed Bible scholar John Dominic Crossan and his wife Sarah painstakingly travel throughout the ancient Eastern church, documenting through text and image a completely different model for understanding Easter’s resurrection story, one that provides promise and hope for us today.

Traveling the world, the Crossans noticed a surprising difference in how the Eastern Church considers Jesus’ resurrection—an event not described in the Bible. At Saint Barbara’s Church in Cairo, they found a painting in which the risen Jesus grasps the hands of other figures around him. Unlike the Western image of a solitary Jesus rising from an empty tomb that he viewed across Eastern Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, the Crossans saw images of the resurrection depicting a Jesus grasping the hands of figures around him, or lifting Adam and Eve to heaven from Hades or hell, or carrying the old and sick to the afterlife. They discovered that the standard image for the Resurrection in Eastern Christianity is communal and collective, something unique from the solitary depiction of the resurrection in Western Christianity.

Fifteen years in the making, Resurrecting Easter reflects on this divide in how the Western and Eastern churches depict the resurrection and its implications. The Crossans argue that the West has gutted the heart of Christianity’s understanding of the resurrection by rejecting that once-common communal iconography in favor of an individualistic vision. As they examine the ubiquitous Eastern imagery of Jesus freeing Eve from Hades while ascending to heaven, the Crossans suggest that this iconography raises profound questions about Christian morality and forgiveness.

A fundamentally different way of understand the story of Jesus’ rebirth illustrated with 130 images, Resurrecting Easter introduces an inclusive, traditional community-based ideal that offers renewed hope and possibilities for our fractured modern society.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

John Dominic Crossan is Professor Emeritus at DePaul University and is widely regarded as the foremost historical Jesus scholar of our time. He is the author of several bestselling books, including The Historical Jesus, How to Read the Bible and Still Be a Christian, God and Empire, Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography, The Greatest Prayer, The Last Week, and The Power of Parable. He lives in Minneola, Florida.

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