Department of Classics

Professor Michael White wins Hamilton Book Award

Tue, October 25, 2011
Professor Michael White wins Hamilton Book Award

Professor L. Michael White, the Ronald Nelson Smith Chair in Christian Origins, has been awarded the 2011 Hamilton Book Award for his recent book, Scripting Jesus: The Gospels in Rewrite (2010). Michael's earlier book, From Jesus to Christianity (2004), also won the Hamilton Award.

From the publisher's description:
In Scripting Jesus, L. Michael White challenges us to read the gospels as they were originally intended—as performed stories of faith rather than factual histories. White demonstrates that each of the four gospel writers had a specific audience in mind and a specific theological agenda to push, and consequently wrote and rewrote their lives of Jesus accordingly, in effect scripting Jesus to get particular points across and to achieve the desired audience reaction. The gospel stories have shaped the beliefs of almost two and a half billion Christians. But the gospel writers were not reporters; rather, they were dramatists, and the stories they told publicly about Jesus were edited and reedited for the greatest effect. Understanding how these first-century Christians wanted to present Jesus offers us a way to make sense of the sometimes conflicting stories in the gospels. With his engaging style, White helps us read the gospels with fresh eyes, giving us a clearer idea of what the gospel stories meant to people in ancient times, and offering insight for how we can understand Jesus's story today.

The Hamilton Book Award is named in honor of Professor Emeritus Robert W. Hamilton, the Minerva House Drysdale Regents Chair Emeritus in the UT School of Law and a former chairperson of the University Co-op’s board of directors. Sponsored by the University Co-operative Society, it is open to all permanent UT faculty members who published a book during the previous academic year.

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