The Metaphor of God Incarnate
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In this major work, John Hick refutes the traditional Christian understanding of Jesus of Nazareth as God incarnate, who became man to die for the sins of the world and founded the church to proclaim this. Hick argues that Jesus did not teach what was to become orthodox Christian understanding of him; that the dogma of Jesus' two natures, human and divine, cannot be presented satisfactorily; that the traditional dogma has been used to justify great human evils; that the idea of divine incarnation is better understood as metaphorical than as literal; that we can understand Jesus to be our Lord and the one who has made God real to us; and that a nontraditional Christianity based upon this understanding of Jesus can be seen as one among a number of different human responses to the ulitmate transcendent reality we call God.
John Hick is a Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Research in Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom. He has taught philosophy of religion at Cornell University, Princeton Theological Seminary, and the Claremont Graduate University in California, as well as Cambridge and Birmingham Universities in the United Kingdom. He is the author of sixteen and editor of nine books, and his writings have been translated into sixteen languages. He gave the Gifford Lectures in 1986-87 and received the Grawemeyer Award for significant new thinking in religion in 1991.