In this urgently relevant, wholly enlightening discussion of modern moral decisions, the Harvard theology professor Harvey Cox considers the significance of Jesus and his teachings today. As he did in his undergraduate class Jesus and the Moral Life—a course that grew so popular that the lectures were held in a theater often used for rock concerts—Cox examines contemporary dilemmas in the light of lessons gleaned from the Gospels. Invigorating and incisive, this book encourages an intellectual approach to faith and inspires a clear way of thinking about moral choices for all of us.
Ever since his groundbreaking study of religion and society (The Secular City) more than 40 years ago, Cox has devoted his work to a fascinating array of topics: Pentecostalism, interreligious dialogue, liberation theology and Eastern religions. Now, after more than 20 years of teaching a course on Jesus and the moral life to Harvard undergraduates, he shares his experience. He admits honestly that he initially failed to see the value of such a course in a pluralistic religious university setting. Once he began to teach it, however, students filled the lecture hall, and small discussion groups crackled with open and hard-hitting questions about the relationship of Jesus and morality. With sparkling prose, Cox organizes the book around the New Testament stories told by and about Jesus to demonstrate the ways that each can be used to inform moral choices. For example, one of his students made the connection between the Lukan stories about Mary's choice to give birth to Jesus and the ethical decisions that Harvard female undergraduates confronted in advertisements that offered them cash for their fertile eggs. Above all, Jesus emerges as an elusive figure whose actions and words are, according to Cox, harder than ever to pin down. (Dec. 3) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.