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Corrections for Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road? (Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World"

Corrections for Brian D. McLaren’s Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road? (Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World) [Jericho, 2012]

(As additional corrections are identified, we will add them here. To suggest a correction, please email it to info@brianmclaren.net. Thank you.)

Chapter 11, Footnote 6
See “San’a’1 and the Origins of the Qur’an,” Bahnam Sadeghi and Mohsen Goudarzil, (available here: http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/islm.2010.87.issue-1-2/islam-2011-0025/islam-2011-0025.xml). See also Peters, F. E. "The Quest of the Historical Muhammad." International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 23, No. 3. (Aug., 1991), pp. 291-315. More controversial is the work of Ibn Warraq, the pen name of an outspoken non-Muslim critic of Islam, who also addresses this subject in What the Koran Really Says (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2002).

Chapter 13, Footnote 2
Girardians use the term sacred to describe this supernatural, magical - and violent - power of scapegoating. I am not using sacred in this technical sense throughout this book, but rather I use the term in its more general sense, meaning “associated with God, holiness, spirituality, and religious reverence.”

Chapter 16, Footnote 14
Girard’s use of “replacement” in this quote should not be misunderstood to refer to “replacement (or supersessionist) theology,” a belief found in some strains of Christian history. Replacement theology claims that Christianity replaces Judaism as the world’s one legitimate religion, a notion that Girard and Girardians would universally and categorically reject. Rather, the term in this context refers to the replacement of violent conceptions of God with the image of a kind, gracious, nonviolent God who suffers violence and doesn’t inflict it. This is, according to Girard, an inherently Jewish project rooted in Hebrew prophets like Hosea and Isaiah, and built upon in Jesus, John, and Paul. It is largely ignored or reversed in “sacrificial” Christian history, theology, liturgy, and mission. The following passage makes the point without the easily-misunderstood term “replacement.”

 

   The Johannine Logos is foreign to any kind of violence; it is therefore forever expelled, an absent Logos that never has had any direct, determining influence over human cultures. These cultures are based on the Heraclitean Logos, the Logos of expulsion, the Logos of violence, which, if it is not recognized, can provide the foundation of a culture. The Johannine Logos discloses the truth of violence by having itself expelled. First and foremost, John’s Prologue undoubtedly refers to the Passion. But in a more general way, the misrecognition of the Logos and mankind’s expulsion of it disclose one of the fundamental principles of human society.
        . . .This revelation comes from the Logos itself. In Christianity, it is expelled once again by the sacrificial reading, which amounts to a return to the Logos of violence. All the same, the Logos is still in the process of revealing itself; if it tolerates being concealed yet another time, this is to put off for just a short while the fullness of its revelation.
        The Logos of love puts up no resistance; it always allows itself to be expelled by the Logos of violence. But its expulsion is revealed in a more and more obvious fashion, and by the same process the Logos of violence is revealed as what can only exist by expelling the true Logos and feeding upon it in one way or another. (Things Hidden, pp. 271, 274)

For more on “the Heraclitean Logos,” see Heraclitus’ Fragments, especially Fragments 53 and 80 (Thanks to Paul Nuechterlein for this reference.):

War [or violence] is the father of all and the king of all; and some he has made gods and some men, some bond and some free.... We must know that war is common to all and strife is justice, and that all things come into being and pass away through strife.

Acknowledgments:
Paul Nuechterlein’s name is misspelled in the first edition.