About Me

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I am a medievalist and an adjunct college instructor in the humanities at Union College. My research includes medieval theologies of history, text/image relationships in visionary and mystical texts, and the writings of the twelfth-century Doctor of the Church, St. Hildegard of Bingen. I am also a translator of medieval Latin and German texts, especially as relate to my research. My translation of Hildegard's Book of Divine Works is available from Catholic University of America Press here. I completed a Master's in Medieval Studies at the University of Notre Dame in 2010, a Fulbright Fellowship in Germany in 2008, and a B.A. in Classics and German at Boston College in 2007.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Contra Resurrectionem Iesu: James Cameron and the Continued Attack on Christianity

It seems that James Cameron has found something bigger than the Titanic: apparently, he's found the REAL tomb of Jesus, from which He was never resurrected and in which He was buried with his wife, Mary Magdalene. In fact, Cameron is so convinced that he's going to do a documentary showing once and for all that the largest religion on Earth is, in fact, a complete fabrication. (Click here for a good critique of the argument by Dr. Ben Witherington; also, a humorous take can be found here.)

But why should we expect anything less? The claims of Christianity have been under sustained attack for years by secularists, and this is just their latest gambit to try debunk it (one wonders when they'll start to understand that Christianity isn't exactly dying out). After the monstrous atrocities that the last century saw on account of anti-Semitism, Western society has at least tried its best to rid itself of that particular evil. Yet, anti-Christian sentiments are alive and well, fanned it seems from every corner of the liberal intelligentsia.

What's funny is that, while such anti-Christian fervor is rigidly protected and promoted by elements in Western society like the ACLU, any sentiment against Muslims that even begins to match its intensity is immediately decried as ranging from "insensitive" to outright "bigotry". Imagine if James Cameron tried to produce a film claiming to have archaeological evidence that Mohammed didn't really write the Qu'ran: the Islamic world would erupt in violence and chaos in comparison with which last year's ruckus over some Danish cartoons would pale. And the cries of outrage would not just be limited to Muslims; I can already see editorials in The New York Times decrying Cameron's blatant (and even bigoted) anti-Muslim views (compare, for example, the reaction to Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ).

Yet, this latest, dare-I-say bigoted attack against Christianity will pass by, and if we're lucky, The New York Times will relegate their praise of the documentary's merits to the Arts and Entertainment section.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I guess it is true that a prophet has no honor in his own country.

So far, only the press in Witherington’s native Kentucky have delicately raised the issue of the pot calling the kettle bla…that is, the pot calling the ossuary cracked in Witherington’s overheated (the gentleman protests too much) protestations against the latest “biggest New Testament find”* in his lifetime.

Lexington County Herald, 2/27/07

On his blog, Witherington fired a final salvo by referring to the Titanic and saying Cameron “has now jumped on board another sinking ship full of holes, presumably in order to make a lot of money before the theory sinks into an early watery grave. Man the lifeboats and get out now.”

In 2003, Witherington and co-author Hershel Shanks, editor of the Biblical Archaeology Review, wrote in The Brother of Jesus that they believed an ossuary bearing the inscription “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus,” was authentic.
A few months after The Brother of Jesus was published, Israel’s Antiquities Authority decided that the ossuary was a fake. It charged the ossuary’s owner, Oded Golan, with fraud and illegally selling archaeological artifacts outside of Israel. His trial continues, 21/2 years after it began.

Witherington said that he and Shanks stand by their conclusion that the ossuary is authentic and are not likely to change their minds, regardless of the trial’s outcome.
* “This is probably going to be the biggest New Testament find in my lifetime, as big as the Dead Sea scrolls,” said Ben Witherington, a New Testament professor at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky.

National Geographic News


If Witherington can be such a zealot about HIS OWN wacky claims about HIS OWN phony ossuary, it would only seem sporting that he would cut Simcha Jacobovici (Witherington’s former partner in crime. He was the man who helped Witherington create and hype his documentary on the phony “James Ossuary” about 4 years ago - shown on, you guessed it! The Discovery Channel!) and James Cameron some slack.