Baker Academic

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Jesus and Brian Has Arrived!—Chris Keith

Along with Christopher Skinner, I recently received an early copy of Jesus and Brian: Exploring the Historical Jesus and His Times via Monty Python's Life of Brian (ed. Joan E. Taylor; Bloomsbury T&T Clark).  I'm not sure when I've been as excited to read a book as I am to read this one, and I'm having trouble putting it off until I finish other things.  This looks like the ultimate Jesus-nerd book.  Unlike Skinner, I was at the conference last Summer in London and it was absolutely wonderful.  I blogged about it here on the Jesus Blog ("The Life of Brian, the Historical Jesus, and Michael Myers") and a St Mary's PhD student, Sarah Prime, published a review of the conference for the Marginalia Review of Books, "And now for something completely different: Brianology Comes of Age; or, What Have the Pythons Done for Us?"

One of the defining characteristics of the conference was a combination of silliness (by far one of the best parts of the conference was hearing how each scholar managed to work his or her favorite quotation from Life of Brian into his or her academic paper, as well as all the cursing) and extremely insightful comments on the quest for the historical Jesus.  I hope the book is able to capture this combination and will report back with a review in a month or so once I've had time to digest it all.

The book features essays from William Telford, Richard Burridge, David Shepherd, David Tollerton, James Crossley, Philip Davies, Joan Taylor (also editor), Guy Stiebel, Helen Bond, George Brooke, Bart Ehrman, Paula Fredriksen, Amy-Jill Levine, Steve Mason, Adele Reinhartz, and Katie Turner.  I think I might need to see if Bloomsbury T&T Clark will let us give a copy away....


  1. "He's not the messiah; he's a very naughty boy!"

  2. The key comment by Goodacre noted that the important question is not whether Brian is Jesus, but whether Jesus is Brian.