For forty years and in nine previous books, scholar and religious commentator Tom Harpur has challenged church orthodoxy and guided thousands of readers on subjects as controversial as the true nature of Christ and life after death. Now, in his most radical and groundbreaking work, Harpur digs deep into the origins of Christianity. What he has discovered will have a profound effect on the way we think about religion. [via]
Long before the advent of Jesus Christ, the Egyptians and other peoples believed in the coming of a messiah, a madonna and her child, a virgin birth, and the incarnation of the spirit in flesh. The early Christian church accepted these ancient truths as the very tenets of Christianity but disavowed their origins. What began as a universal belief system based on myth and allegory became instead, in the third and fourth centuries A.D., a ritualistic institution headed by ultraconservative literalists. "The transcendent meaning of glorious myths and symbols was reduced to miraculous, quite unbelievable events. The truth that Christ was to come in man, that the Christ principle was potentially in each of us, was changed to the exclusivist teaching that the Christ had come as a man."
Harpur's message is clear: Our blind faith in literalism is killing Christianity. Only with a return to an inclusive religion will we gain a true understanding of who we are and who we are intended to become. Drawing on the work of scholars such as Gerald Massey and Alvin Boyd Kuhn, Tom Harpur has written a book of rare insight and power.