I'm excited about this book, which is definitely the best study of the resurrection. (I know from proof-reading a part of it.) It steers between the poles of Wright and Ludemann, using the best of both worlds while eschewing dogmatism from either side. Dale makes a good case for historicity of the empty tomb, though differently than Wright, and with sanity by recognizing the variety of possibilities which could account for an empty tomb -- an actual resurrection being but one of them. Then too he dabbles into grief-induced visions, though again, better than Ludemann does, and with less dogmatic surety. Dale well understands that Jesus expected to suffer and die (probably expected some of his followers to die too) as a necessary prelude to the apocalypse. That apocalypse, about which our Galilean friend was obviously mistaken.Continuum have a shed load of endorsements that echo Loren's opinion:
The Earliest Christian Tradition and Its Interpreters
including comments from Jimmy Dunn, Scot McKnight, Gregory Sterling, Joel Marcus, Craig Evans, Daniel Harrington, Gregory Sterling, David Aune. From the look of the table of contents,
1. Secularizing Jesusthere are several pieces that have been floated prior to publication on the net, including chapters 2 and 3 on the Xtalk Allison Seminar in 2003 and chapter 1 on Allison's homepage, a brilliant piece entitled The Secularizing of the Historical Jesus (PDF).
2. The Problem of Audience
3. The Problem of Gehenna
Excursus I: Percy Bysshe Shelley and the Historical Jesus
4. Apocalyptic, Polemic, Apologetics
5. Torah, Urzeit, Endzeit
6. Resurrecting Jesus
Excursus II: Joseph of Arimathea
Excursus III: The Disciples and Bereavement
Index of Scripture
Index of Modern Names
Update (Wednesday, 19.10): On The Busybody Loren Rosson notes that the books is now available. I'm hoping that Continuum bring a batch with them to the BNTC tomorrow; it will be the first book I'm after. Meanwhile, on Jesus Creed, Scot McKnight speaks of getting Allison, Segal and Wright together (and in comments Rosson rightly adds Lüdeman) for a juicy debate on all of this. Great idea.