A Quest for the Historical Christ
Scientia Christi and the Modern Study of Jesus
Imprint: Catholic University of America Press
A Quest for the Historical Christ brings together a collection of interrelated essays on the historical Jesus and primitive Christology. Sensitive to the diverse, but traditionally Protestant assumptions and perspectives of the "Quest" as well as to the widely lamented disconnect between New Testament exegesis and classical dogmatic theology, an alternative approach is proposed in these pages. Ecumenical and conciliar reference points, along with non-confessional historical methods (e.g. archeology) shape the basic project, which nevertheless assumes some distinctive and important Catholic contours. This particular synthesis injects the voice of a missing interlocutor into an established conversation that has not infrequently been both historically confused and dogmatically (and philosophically) numb.
The book is divided into three sections: Historical Foundations, Theological Perspectives, and Jesus and the Scriptures. While the individual chapters represent independent probes, the cumulative argument and arc of the study drives in clear and concerted directions. After a first approach to the Gospel data, attentive at once to historiographical and historical questions, a series of interventions reorienting the present scholarly discussion are suggested. These various, foundational essays lead, finally, to a sustained mediation on the mind of Christ, considered as a unique reader of the Scriptures: a meditation having its proper reflex and reflection in the way Christians themselves, as readers of the Gospels, participate in the Lord's own encounter with the living Word.
"Offers a penetrating critique of various trends in contemporary historical Jesus research and related fields, but from a distinctively Catholic perspective. Given the fact that these respective fields are dominated by Protestant and secular scholars, such a robust and explicitly Catholic contribution adds a very important voice to the current conversation."~Brant Pitre, author of Jesus and the Last Supper
" A Quest for the Historical Christ is a brilliant piece of work. It is perceptive, penetrating, balanced, and fair. Anthony Giambrone demonstrates mastery of history, theology, and exegesis on a level of sophistication I have not seen in previous books that probe this important topic. I cannot recommend it highly enough."~Craig A. Evans, Houston Baptist University
"In John Meier’s now-classic fantasy of an ‘unpapal conclave,’ four historians agree to subtract their distinctive perspectives to reveal a truly communis opinio on the historical Jesus. In this collection of essays, Anthony Giambrone reveals the fundamental flaw in Meier’s method: that any of our historians should be content to discount their unique perspectives! Instead, Giambrone offers an overtly Catholic vision for the scientia Christi: simultaneously aggressive and ecumenical, historical and dogmatic. As a non-Catholic—but nevertheless catholic—reader, I found much to cheer, much to question, and much to engage in these pages."~Rafael Rodriguez, Johnson University
""A forceful venture into Christology from one of the most prominent contemporary practitioners of New Testament exegesis in the Catholic tradition. Fr. Giambrone has not only established himself as a learned voice in biblical interpretation but has also provided us here with a series of profound theological reflections on the mystery of Christ, understood within history, as God with us. One can debate constructively with many of his helpfully provocative theses, but what is beyond dispute is that this work contributes significantly to the ongoing conversation between sophisticated contemporary New Testament exegesis and robust Christian dogmatics."~Thomas Joseph White, OP, Rector Magnificus, Angelicum, Rome
"Anthony Giambrone is a scholar’s scholar, so from the title to the final line his wit, elevated prose, and erudition will both delight and challenge the well educated reader."~Catholic Books Review