Different Planets

interbreeding h/t: image purloined from Subverting the Genre, thanks Chris.

The contretemps involving a Fox talking head Lauren Green interviewing scholar/author Reza Azlan was much more amusing than shocking. The shocking part was, for me, Mr. Azlan believing Fox was even capable of interviewing him about the ideas in his new book Zealot.

(For a more high minded conversation, here are the video clips of his interview with Sister Rose.)

Then, in the aftermath, the rippling consequences are probably all completely predictable. Some Christians will condemn Azlan to Hell Fire; some scholars will remind people that the facts about Jesus are simply the facts contained in The New Testament. And, familiar characters will imply he is a jihadi sympathizer. The vicious will annunciate in blog comments that ‘it is certain Azlan is a terrorist.’

The distinction between the historical Jesus and Jesus of the New Testament has always struck me as the entry point into a fascinating historical detective story. This great historical problem did not seem to be of interest to Fox’s Lauren Green, given her interview with Mr. Azlan focused on a ridiculous hypothesis. Oh, I forgot, there now is a new wasteland of internet leavings asserting that only Christians have the ability to accurately investigate Jesus.

Personally, another keen point of interest is what devout people understand of any stripe to be the conjunction between their own beliefs/understandings and the contextualizing historically focused question,

What’s the connection between your religious commitment, and, the other Abrahamic religions?

I wonder what percentage of Christians, Jews, Muslims, would respond by asking, “What do you mean by Abrahamic religions?”


On the two occasions I’ve pitched this very same questions, both persons knew what I meant by Abrahamic religions, and, both persons did respond with something like, “I’m going to have to think about it.” It seems to me the easiest aspect to understand is comprehending the most significant and solitary cosmic ramification of monotheism, yet, evidently it is harder than I think.

Then, there are other questions I might pose.


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