Explaining Jesus: An Interdisciplinary Exploration of a Phenomenon

"Eighteen" by Marcelyn Bennett-Carpenter, 2013
Image: "Eighteen" by Marcelyn Bennett-Carpenter, 2013
A book forthcoming with Lexington Books / Rowman & Littlefield


How exactly does one explain Jesus? That is the central question of this book. But the task of explaining Jesus is complicated. For many non-believers, skeptics, or practitioners of non-Jesus-based religions or spiritualities, it can be very strange to refer to a particular man who lived in the first century C.E. as someone who is still living. Even for some believers, this idea can be a difficult thing to understand, even given the teachings of their faith. Thus, whether believer or non-believer, or somewhere in-between, for the intellectually curious, there is need for an explanation. This book explores the possibilities of a secular, interdisciplinary, scientifically-based explanation for the phenomenon of Jesus.

Explaining Jesus: An Interdisciplinary Exploration of a Phenomenon is the culmination of an intellectual journey. It weaves disparate threads of contemporary disciplinary insights from the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences into an integrated, working explanation for the phenomenon of Jesus. The insights from within the particular disciplines are not new, and experts within particular areas will find basic accounts presented here, many of which address hotly contested topics. The original contribution of this book is the integration of these diverse accounts related to Jesus. While countless books have been written on Jesus from the perspectives of theology, spirituality, and humanities/arts, far fewer have addressed this topic from the perspective of social and natural sciences. This book integrates insights particularly from a naturalistic, physicalist perspective in order to offer a working explanation for the phenomenon of Jesus.