Yesterday I was thrilled to find this new book in my campus inbox! Last summer (June 20-22, 2014), King’s College London hosted a conference entitled, “Jesus and Brian: A Conference on the Historical Jesus and His Times.” I remember wanting to attend and being very disappointed that I was not able. (I had already made two trips to the UK that summer and there’s no way my university would have financed a third!) While the conference was taking place, I was able to catch various posts on social media as several of my friends attended and attempted to live tweet the proceedings. Well now I guess I have the second best thing, a copy of Jesus and Brian : Exploring the Historical Jesus and His Times Via Monty Python’s Life of Brian (London: Bloomsbury/T&T Clark, 2015). The book is scheduled for release on September 10, 2015 and represents the full proceedings of the conference.
The contributors to this volume represent some of the very best scholars working in both Jesus research and reception history, and include William Telford, Richard Burridge, David Shepherd, David Tollerton, James Crossley, Philip Davies, Joan Taylor, Guy Stiebel, Helen Bond, George Brooke, Bart Ehrman, Paula Frederiksen, Amy-Jill Levine, Steve Mason, Adele Reinhartz, and Katie Turner.
Two of the book’s four jacket endorsements are provided by members of Monty Python, who, I should point out, also attended the conference:
“I was astonished when I heard there was to be a conference where proper New Testament scholars would be discussing what they had learnt from Life of Brian! This is the result. Fascinating…” – John Cleese
“Taken as a whole, the essays form a complete analytical documentation of the Life of Brian, and very interesting they are too! They take various angles and look at the film from not just a filmic one but from a historical point of view, and read many things I had not noticed at the time. The comparisons are always illuminating, and the commentaries always right on the nose.” – Terry Jones
I hope to provide a more substantial review of the book in due course, but for now, I wanted to get it on your radar. You only have two more weeks to wait!