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Desire of the Everlasting Hills

de Thomas Cahill

Séries: Hinges of History (3)

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1,643167,810 (3.78)13
"Cahill is insightful, wry, and highly entertaining as he explores the cultural influences, social expectations, and tricky politics of the day.  He examines the New Testament in this light, yet remains respectful. His goal, he states early, is to ascertain whether Jesus made a difference. His conclusion is unequivocal." --Christian Science Monitor In Desire of the Everlasting Hills, Thomas Cahill takes up his most daring and provocative subject yet: Jesus of Nazareth, the central figure of Western civilization. Introducing us first to "the people Jesus knew," Thomas Cahill describes the oppressive Roman political presence, the pervasive Greek cultural influence, and especially the widely varied social and religious context of the Judaism in which Jesus moved and flourished. These backgrounds, essential to a complete understanding of Jesus, lead to the author's stunningly original interpretation of the New Testament--much of it based on material from the ancient Greek brilliantly translated by the author himself--that will delight readers and surprise even biblical scholars. Thomas Cahill's most unusual skill may lie in his ability to bring to life people of a faraway world whose concerns seem at first to be utterly removed from the present day. We see Jesus as a real person, sharp-witted and sharp-tongued, but kind, humorous, and affectionate, shadowed by the inevitable climax of crucifixion, the cruelest form of execution ever devised by humankind. Mary, while not quite the "perpetual virgin" of popular piety, is a vivid presence and forceful influence on her son. And the apostle Paul, the carrier of Jesus' message and most important figure in the early Jesus movement (which became Christianity), finds rehabilitation in Cahill's realistic, revealing portrait of him. The third volume in the Hinges of History series, this unique presentation of Jesus and his times is for believers and nonbelievers alike (for Jews and Christians, it is intended by the author as an act of reconciliation). With the same lively narration and irresistible perceptions that characterize How the Irish Saved Civilization and The Gifts of the Jews, Thomas Cahill invites readers into an ancient world to commune with some of the most influential people who ever lived.… (mais)
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Why is it that texts which present themselves as overviews, summations, or syntheses find it so difficult to cite specific supporting evidence instead of alluding to it?

Mr. Cahill's book might be better subtitled "The New Testament in Context." He provides some background material on the age, and then readings of each of the portrayals of Jesus. This is no mean feat. However, it is not what the book claims to explicate, which is the specific impact of Jesus on the world and why he was such a pivotal figure. You get a sense of it from the discussion of the Gospel of Luke and the Pauline letters, but there's little demonstration, merely statements. The last chapter, summarizing all that happened after the writing of the Gospels, has the feel of post hoc ergo propter hoc about it.

But the book did make me pick up the Bible again, and the bibliographical essay did have interesting leads for further reading. ( )
  cwcoxjr | Sep 5, 2019 |
EL DESEO DE LAS COLINAS ETERNAS " EL MUNDO ANTES Y DESPUÉS DE JESUS"

En El deseo de las colinas eternas Cahill toma como figura central a Jesús de Nazareth y se acerca a él desde diversos ángulos para comprenderlo y establecer el impacto de sus enseñanzas y del primer movimiento cristiano en nuestra cultura. A partir del contexto social y político de la época, Cahill nos muestra que, para entender el movimiento cristiano, tenemos que hacernos una idea de la opresiva presencia política de Roma en la época, de la potente influencia cultural de Grecia y del particular contexto social y religioso del judaísmo a principios del siglo I.

A continuación, nos introduce en el escenario histórico en el que nace Jesús, el ambiente y atmósfera en los que vive y predica, y los afectos y reacciones de quienes lo rodean. Y finalmente, da paso a una perspicaz y original interpretación del Nuevo Testamento y de cómo las ideas cristianas se fueron transmitiendo a Europa a través de los evangelistas y se convirtieron en una gran religión.

Thomas Cahill propone responder a preguntas que por siglos se ha planteado la humanidad: ¿Cómo era Jesús? ¿Qué sentía la multitud que lo escuchaba? ¿Qué papel jugó la Virgen María? ¿Qué llevó a los apóstoles a abandonarlo todo para seguirlo? Gracias a su peculiar sensibilidad y a un vasto conocimiento del mundo y de las lenguas antiguas, el autor da vida a los personajes históricos, profundiza en sus sentimientos y explica sus motivaciones entregando al lector una visión renovada y fresca del origen del cristianismo.

Para empezar, describe los siglos que antecedieron a la llegada de Jesús, luego presenta el escenario histórico en el que nace el Mesías y el ambiente en el que nació y vivió; al final, nos lleva al cuadro de su muerte y al misterio de su resurrección. Con este trasfondo, Cahill interpreta diversos pasajes del Nuevo Testamento y la manera como las ideas cristianas se convirtieron en los fundamentos de la religión católica y se impusieron en Europa.
  FundacionRosacruz | Jan 23, 2018 |
The hinge in history that has been the central pillar of Western civilization is not a cultural change nor a particular people but one man, Jesus of Nazareth. Thomas Cahill explores the developments of thought before and after Jesus in Desire of the Everlasting Hills through the lens of Greco-Roman and Jewish cultures, his mother Mary, Paul, Luke, Early Christians, and John to reveal how one life both continued and changed the progression of Western thought.

Over the course of 320 pages, Thomas Cahill focused on Jesus of Nazareth as the central figure in the West. However from the outset Cahill makes it clear that the role of Jesus is how others perceived him both during his life and after his time on Earth. While following Jesus during his ministry, Cahill highlighted the essential Jewishness of Jesus’ message and how some considered his message unrealistic while others found hope. After Jesus’ time on Earth, a phrase I must use since Cahill does not state one way or another on the event of the Resurrection save mentioning it, the essence of his divinity was shaped by Paul’s Jewish perspective, Luke’s gentile perspective, and John the Evangelist’s intimate perspective. Cahill’s conclusion is that while Jesus is central to the West, the West as a whole has essentially ignored his teachings but a small few due resulting in the slow but development of the ideas that define Western civilization.

While Cahill’s analysis and themes are a thought provoking read, I did have some serious issues. The first is the same as in his previous book, The Gift of the Jews, which is in some of Cahill’s interpretation and subsequent logical construction of his evidence whether through scripture or an analysis of non-Biblical sources to weave his thesis. The second is partially related and that is Cahill tries to weave a middle course between Jesus as man and Jesus as divine without really take a stand either way. While objectivity can be commended, the book read as a Christian trying too hard to look discuss Jesus from a secular point of view.

Regardless of one’s view of Jesus of Nazareth, no one can deny that he is the central figure of West. Thomas Cahill attempts to bring forth Jesus through the view of those around him and how they interpreted his life and teachings. While Desire of the Everlasting Hills is not a perfect book, it is thought-provoking in viewing Jesus of Nazareth back in the first century AD and into today’s increasing secular society. ( )
  mattries37315 | Nov 28, 2016 |
I don't think I could possibly sing the praises of this book enough. It is an excellent discourse on just what is so special about Christ and about the faith, Christianity, named after him. Cahill is an intelligent, rational thinker and an articulate, nearly poetic, individual both at the same time. This is a very rare combination indeed, and one that leads Cahill in this book, as in the others I've read by him, to be able to work through problems logically, cogently explain the solution he's reached, and, even when you disagree with that solution, offer you some deep insights along the way. ( )
  davidpwithun | Sep 16, 2011 |
Epiphany-OviedoELCA library section 3 A: General Christianity. This book about the world before and after Jesus is easy to read, with occasional sidebars providing information alongside the test. Cahill sets the stage for the arrival of Jesus by briefly describing earlier Mediterranean civilizations of Philip of Macedonia, his son Alexander the Great, and the Greek and Roman empires.
The descriptions of the culure of Jesus' era with its many types of Judaism set the stage for chapters called "Paul's Jesus" and "Luke's Jesus."
This is an excellent, easily understood, quick refresher on ancient middle eastern civilizations, the era of Christ, and how this ministry was viewed by Jews, gentiles and the Roman authorities. By no means dry, this book makes Christ and his era leap to life. I highly recommend it. ( )
  Epiphany-OviedoELCA | Sep 1, 2011 |
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"Cahill is insightful, wry, and highly entertaining as he explores the cultural influences, social expectations, and tricky politics of the day.  He examines the New Testament in this light, yet remains respectful. His goal, he states early, is to ascertain whether Jesus made a difference. His conclusion is unequivocal." --Christian Science Monitor In Desire of the Everlasting Hills, Thomas Cahill takes up his most daring and provocative subject yet: Jesus of Nazareth, the central figure of Western civilization. Introducing us first to "the people Jesus knew," Thomas Cahill describes the oppressive Roman political presence, the pervasive Greek cultural influence, and especially the widely varied social and religious context of the Judaism in which Jesus moved and flourished. These backgrounds, essential to a complete understanding of Jesus, lead to the author's stunningly original interpretation of the New Testament--much of it based on material from the ancient Greek brilliantly translated by the author himself--that will delight readers and surprise even biblical scholars. Thomas Cahill's most unusual skill may lie in his ability to bring to life people of a faraway world whose concerns seem at first to be utterly removed from the present day. We see Jesus as a real person, sharp-witted and sharp-tongued, but kind, humorous, and affectionate, shadowed by the inevitable climax of crucifixion, the cruelest form of execution ever devised by humankind. Mary, while not quite the "perpetual virgin" of popular piety, is a vivid presence and forceful influence on her son. And the apostle Paul, the carrier of Jesus' message and most important figure in the early Jesus movement (which became Christianity), finds rehabilitation in Cahill's realistic, revealing portrait of him. The third volume in the Hinges of History series, this unique presentation of Jesus and his times is for believers and nonbelievers alike (for Jews and Christians, it is intended by the author as an act of reconciliation). With the same lively narration and irresistible perceptions that characterize How the Irish Saved Civilization and The Gifts of the Jews, Thomas Cahill invites readers into an ancient world to commune with some of the most influential people who ever lived.

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