Customer Reviews for

The Wisdom Jesus: Transforming Heart and Mind--A New Perspective on Christ and His Message

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  • Posted March 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    "JC 360"

    Bourgeault invites us into the other 270 degrees of Jesus so often missed by Western Christianity. Draw a circle around the Near East where Jesus lived and taught and only 90 degrees of that circle touches Italy and the West.

    Those of us brought up in the Western Catholic tradition have a 90 degree creedal view of Jesus. Bourgeault reminds us that Jesus was a First Century Jew and a Wisdom Figure. Like most Near Eastern Wisdom Figures he told stories that were more like riddles than didactic teachings. Like most Wisdom Figures Jesus called people into a new reality - the Kingdom of God.

    Bourgeault delves into 'extra-canonical' literature to prove the valid point that the church of the West has indeed suppressed and even distorted the Jesus of the Near East. The Gospel of Thomas is one source that she uses in her arguments. This and other writings are recent finds that bring to light a fresh look at Jesus.

    Her arguments are sound and deepen our perspective on Christ. She invites us not to disown the 90 degree Jesus, but rather to embrace the 360 degree Jesus!

    Her insights into the Sermon on the Mount and several of the more enigmatic sayings in the Gospels are most helpful.

    Her last chapters give practical in-put for us to deepen our own spirituality through such spiritual practices as lectio divina, centering prayer, and chanting.

    I found this book to be most helpful.

    If you are a progressive Christian you will welcome its insights. If your are a fundamentalist, you will find it most disturbing.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 9, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A Refreshing Renaming of the Problem

    Abject moral depravity from birth as the problem for which Western Christianity is the answer has never struck me as an accurate naming of the problem. Given the growing number of people drifting away from church and the many more who pay no attention to the church at all, it appears I am not alone. If only we could do a better job naming the problem. Perhaps then we could see Jesus as the one who speaks to that problem in a way that makes him worthy of our deepest devotion of heart and mind.

    Cynthia Bourgeault offers a wise and articulate naming of the problem that vexes every human being and for which Jesus as the answer makes complete and total sense. The Wisdom Jesus introduces the reader to an understanding of Christianity not familiar to most Western Christians, but one that has always been there, waiting to be rediscovered as the ancient, timeless, refreshingly practical perspective of the Wisdom Tradition of Christianity.

    The Wisdom Jesus opens our eyes to the problem, to our binary way of viewing the world which, if not made conscious, holds us captive and unable to experience the liberating truth that though we are in the world, we are not of the world.

    I do believe there is a future for the church and that the time is coming when those who have walked away from the church will be led to take another look. They will discover that Jesus knew us far better than we know ourselves and gave us all we need to enter into the fullness of who we are already in God's eyes. The excellent, very accessible writing and insights of Cynthia Bourgeault gives me totally renewed hope that Western Christianity has a whole other personality that we are going to be delighted and deeply grateful to meet.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 28, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    "The Wisdom Jesus" is an incredible book if you are op

    "The Wisdom Jesus" is an incredible book if you are open to viewing Jesus and his teachings from a different perspective. Bourgeault invites readers to view teachings like The Beatitudes and stories like the "Woman From the Bible" from a wisdom tradition (specifically kenotic) point of view. I had never heard of this tradition, even though I have caught glimpses of it while reading certain texts and in particular, the Gospel of Thomas. The kenotic perspective involves the "emptying" of one's self and desires to become more open to God's will. Bourgeault's book provides a brief journey to explain this perspective through selected Bible verses, reflection, and ends with a book of practices that readers can integrate into their daily lives: Centering Prayer Meditation, Welcoming Prayer, chanting, and more.

    I chose this book as part of my continuing study into the Gnostic Gospels and various alternative perspectives on Jesus' teachings. The book certainly presented a very unique (emphasis on the unique) way of looking at "traditional" Church doctrine. One really good example of this is the book's definition of "repentance". Traditionally, this is understood as "turning from sin". Bourgeault argues that we should go deeper and points to the Greek term often used for this concept ("metanoia"). In "The Wisdom Jesus", Bourgeault suggests that the term "metanoia" should actually be translated as "go beyond the mind" or go beyond your ego. The emphasis is on the internal (moving away from the pitfalls and obstacles of the self), not the external. It's a very interesting way of looking at Jesus'teaching, which I personally believe can be interpreted in many ways for spiritual progression.

    While this book was definitely an interesting read, it may not sit well if you are someone who is not open to this "alternate look". Bourgeault does an excellent job of providing an incredibly rich and informative journey with great side trips into various spiritual traditions throughout the whole book. If you are not comfortable learning about chanting or haven't read the The Gospel of Thomas, this book may not be for you. If you have read the Gospel of Thomas or similar literature and wanted to know how integrate some of that teaching into your daily life, this would definitely be the book for you. (Buddhists might also like this book as well.)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2013

    I am blown away! Highly recommend this book

    I am blown away! Highly recommend this book

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 27, 2009

    still haven't received it !

    still haven't received either books ordered early November for Christams !

    0 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2013

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    Posted June 24, 2014

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