"We know amazingly little about the man who spread everywhere. Even basic facts are obscure."
Filling in his biography "is a noble but necessarily futile endeavour."
Even a "necessarily limited and fastidious approach to the historical record has the danger of slipping into the realm of fiction..."
"dubious legends sprang up about him."
The answer is Shakespeare.
Stephen Marche, author of the recent book How Shakespeare Changed Everything, is the source of the quotes. It's a great read even if, like me, you're no great devotee of Shakespeare's work.
|Is this the man?|
Which is a preamble to the question I want to pose in the penultimate part of the Progressive Christianity series. How come the enthusiasts in this camp know so much about Jesus, a man who lived long before Shakespeare and never, so far as we know, wrote down a single word? With what degree of certainty can they find in him the embodiment of all those wonderful, progressive, inclusive values which we all want to promote in our own age?
To that mystery we turn shortly.