We’ve never suffered from a dearth of books on Christianity. Even leaving aside the Bible, books on all things Christian–apologetics, fiction, inspirational tracts, and even books that take on Christianity from an atheistic viewpoint–have never been in short supply. The Christian publishing industry takes in revenues in excess of billions of dollars per year, much of it spent preaching to the converted, and much of the rest attempting to convert the rest.
What we don’t see nearly as often are books that unearth the other Christianities, those that have existed side-by-side with orthodox Christianity, or that show us the Christianities that might have been. Sure, The DaVinci Code created a flurry of interest in all things Gnostic, but there are a plethora of other possibilities that blossomed in the early years of the religion, many of them never to come to full flower. One such “alternate” Christianity is outlined in Martin Palmer’s The Jesus Sutras.
As we’re still reminded on a nearly daily basis, cultures and religions seem more likely to clash than collaborate. Palmer’s great gift in this book is to show us that it wasn’t always, and need not always, be so. Read more