Seeing Light: A Critical Enquiry into the Origins of Resurrection Faith


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Format: Paperback (314 pages)

Publisher: Sacristy Press

Date of Publication:

ISBN: 978-1-78959-047-0

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Christians proclaim the resurrection of Jesus. However, many think it is not worth a second thought. A few people may be mildly interested in the figure of Jesus and his teaching, but our modern world-view has no place for the idea of miraculous divine intervention in human affairs.

Seeing Light asks whether there is any basis for honestly and meaningfully affirming belief in the resurrection of Jesus today.

The book hits the problem head-on, starting with historical belief in Jesus’ resurrection, because, even if the resurrection never happened, it was certainly believed to have happened.

Peter Gant closely scrutinizes the evidence and pays particular attention to Jewish afterlife beliefs contemporary with Jesus. These include beliefs about rewards for righteous martyrs and the hoped-for coming of a mighty heavenly being who would rescue the Jewish people from their enemies and establish a golden era of social justice and peace.

The earliest Christian evidence is reassessed and graded, with the greatest weight being accorded to the earliest and most reliable testimony. The picture that emerges is sharply at variance with traditional, gospel-based accounts of the resurrection of Jesus.

So, can modern Christians honestly affirm that God raised Jesus from the dead? “Yes” says the author, “providing they understand that divine revelation is mediated through the God-given perception of significance latent in historical events.”

Forceful and fair in his style of argument … This is a startling and challenging book.

Henry Wansbrough, Church Times

Gant dances around literalism, reductionism and unbelief in an attempt to weave a credible answer in a non-interventionist reading of Jesus’ resurrection, convincing enough to undergird Christian faith for today. Does he succeed? Read and decide. The argument is worth it.

Rosie Budd, Transforming Ministry

This is a remarkably honest book. In fact, the author’s uncompromising commitment to articulating only what a critical reading of the actual New Testament evidence will justifiably allow constitutes a confronting challenge, not only to the unthinking forces of contemporary fundamentalism and naive biblicism, but also to much of the Christian apologetics of mainline Christian Churches that tend to be wedded to the defence of inherited or preconceived views come what may. … This is a significantly interesting and challenging book. It would be a mistake to underestimate its importance.

Peter Carnley, Journal of Anglican Studies

[Gant’s] is a magnificently argued position. Whether it is one that would, or even should, displace the deeply affective attachment to the stories which carry such impact in the Easter cycle each year remains open to debate.

Bridget Nichols, Rural Theology

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