Scholar James Carroll Asks 'Who Actually Is Christ For Us Today?'

Download Audio

What explains the historic schisms in the world between white and black, east and west, Christian and Jew? What are the historical roots of prejudice that led to the horrors of the Holocaust and how is that prejudice connected to the religious violence that dominates our world today?

These are some of the big questions that James Carroll takes on in his new book about Jesus Christ. Carroll argues that the roots of prejudice and religious violence can be traced to our understanding of who Jesus was, and who he wasn't. Carroll unpacks and discredits a distorted and corrosive view of history: that the story of Jesus was the story of "Jesus against the Jews," one that labeled the Jews as "Christ killers" and fueled the fires of bigotry through ages.

Carroll says that, to reckon with what that means is to understand the truth of Jesus in his time, and to recognize his essential identity as a Jew.

James Carroll is the author of numerous books, including "Constantine's Sword." His newest is, "Christ Actually: The Son of God for the Secular Age."

James Carroll will be speaking Wednesday night at a Harvard Book Store event at the First Parish Church in Cambridge.


James Carroll, former Catholic priest, columnist for The Boston Globe and a distinguished scholar in residence at Suffolk University.


The Boston Globe: How Waiting For Christ Shaped Us

  • "The run-up to Christmas is a season in which to recall that Christianity began in a mistake. The first followers of Jesus understood him in terms drawn from Jewish expectation. They regarded him as the Messiah, the tribune of the end of time. After his death and disappearance, they expected that he would return quickly and fulfill his mission, bringing about the culmination of history."

This article was originally published on December 10, 2014.

This segment aired on December 10, 2014.


More from Radio Boston

Listen Live