Tarry for the Nonce

January 8, 2006

The Next Dan Brown?

Filed under: Religion — lmwalker @ 10:09 pm

An Italian court is tackling the big one:

An Italian court is tackling Jesus — and whether the Roman Catholic Church may be breaking the law by teaching that he existed 2,000 years ago . . .

“I started this lawsuit because I wanted to deal the final blow against the Church, the bearer of obscurantism and regression,” [Luigi] Cascioli told Reuters.

Cascioli says [Enrico] Righi, and by extension the whole Church, broke two Italian laws. The first is “Abuso di Credulita Popolare” (Abuse of Popular Belief) meant to protect people against being swindled or conned. The second crime, he says, is “Sostituzione di Persona”, or impersonation . . .

“In my book, The Fable of Christ, I present proof Jesus did not exist as a historic figure. He must now refute this by showing proof of Christ’s existence,” Cascioli said.

Speaking to Reuters, Righi, 76, sounded frustrated by the case and baffled as to why Cascioli — who, like him, came from the town of Bagnoregio — singled him out in his crusade against the Church.

I too am baffled. If I read this correctly, Cascioli is promoting a book. He calls on Righi to “show proof of Christ’s existence,” the implication being that Righi will be unable to do so. The also article indicates that Cascioli’s book on the non-historicity of Christ relies on 1st century historical documents. Hmm. Whatever makes him think his sources are more reliable than the most famous ones? Or even the less famous ones?

Considering that even one of the most comprehensive Jewish historical documents of the 1st century is embroiled in controversy over its passing references to Jesus, whatever makes Cascioli think that his personal historical insight has overwhelmed two thousand years of analysis and scholarship?

It should be in interesting day in court.

(Hat tip to Fr. Kish)

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