Resurrection in Retrospect

A Critical Examination of the Theology of N. T. Wright

Reddit icon
e-mail icon
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
LinkedIn icon
Peter Carnley
  • Eugene, OR: 
    Wipf & Stock
    , May
     326 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.


In 2003 the British New Testament scholar N. T. Wright published The Resurrection of the Son of God, arguing vigorously that the Resurrection of Christ should be handled purely as a historical event—subjected to historical reason and critical-historical research. This book critically examines Wright’s arguments. Peter Carnley demonstrates the flaws in the view that the Resurrection should be understood essentially as Jesus’ return from the dead to this world of space and time in a material and physical body. Carnley argues that the Resurrection of Christ is a “mystery of God,” which must necessarily be appropriated, not by reason alone, but by faith. Evidence relating to a past occurrence can be known only retrospectively. Yet Easter faith has to do with apprehending in the present a concretely experienced reality—which Saint Paul called “the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:2). An epistemology of the identification of the Spirit in faith as the living presence of Christ will be found in the companion volume to this book: The Reconstruction of Resurrection Belief.

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

Peter Carnley was Archbishop of Perth, Western Australia, from 1981 to 2005, and Primate of Australia from 2000 to 2005. He was educated at Trinity College, Melbourne; and at Emmanuel College and St. John’s College, University of Cambridge. He taught at the University of Queensland, in Brisbane. His books include A Kind of Retirement (Wipf & Stock, 2016), Reflections in Glass (2004), and The Structure of Resurrection Belief (1987).


Reading Religion welcomes comments from AAR members, and you may leave a comment below by logging in with your AAR Member ID and password. Please read our policy on commenting.