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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Free the Jesus teaching from dogma and authority

Kathleen Mulhern, teacher of "courses in world history, European history, and history of Christianity," hosts "Mystery and Hope: A Q&A with Thomas Moore" for Patheos The site's Book Club features Moore's new book The Soul of Christmas in November.

Among her questions Mulhern asks, "What can Jesus mean for the non-Christian? How can he still bring blessing without all the doctrine about him?

Moore responds, "It might help to notice how many people who are not Buddhist follow many Buddhist principles and methods without becoming Buddhists. It could be the same with Jesus, only there is that heavy load of tradition to set aside. You do have to take a fresh look at the Jesus teaching and try to free it up from all the dogma and authority."

She then asks, "Describe the mystical reality of Christmas, and how does that relate to the story of the Virgin Mary?"

Moore says, "In the Christmas story Jesus is not just a human being but a mythic or spiritual being, as well. You can hear the story as a great sacred tale about a figure who can help people be more loving and communal. His mother, then, is also bigger than life, a virgin mother, as sometimes happens in mythology, to show that Jesus is not entirely human but is a spiritual figure."

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