Throughout the history of Christianity there have been those claiming a monumental secret. Often centered around the Church of St. Sulpice in Paris and associated with French esoteric circles like Debussy who wrote in a review:
“Perhaps it’s to destroy that scandalous legend that Jesus Christ died on the cross.”
But even Canon Alfred Lilley came back from St. Sulpice questioning the crucifixion. There must have been some documentation in the church that convinced these people of something portentous. BUT now searching links between the history of Rome and the latest Biblical research, we finally reveal the extraordinary facts that prove exactly what the monumental secret was and its validity making the revaluation of Christianity, as we knew it, inevitable.
I received a copy of this book from the author as part of the Authoright blog tour in return for an honest review.
I have read and reviewed two of Julian’s previous books on the subject, The Gospel according to Monty Python, and Crucifixion’s A Doddle so I know some of the back story already. When the Pythons were filming ‘The Life of Brian’ practical difficulties made Julian question the reality of crucifixion as depicted from the late forth century onwards as being nailed to a cross. Where’d they get all the trees from, for a start?
I’ve been thinking very hard about how to word this review. As it’s part of a blog tour I’m trying not to be as acerbic as I sometimes am.
I read the 200+ pages of this book in one sitting. Doyle has a compelling and slightly humorous writing style that made the pages fly by. His argument is interesting and he draws on a variety of sources to present his hypothesis. His hypothesis generally follows current academic thinking: the Biblical Jesus is an amalgam of multiple people and the events of the Gospels are later inventions based on some earlier original writing.
However, some of his arguments are poorly supported and he makes unsupported suppositions, such that being a member of the Royal Society indicates Freemasonry associations. Some of his sources aren’t all that reliable. A lot of Doyle’s hypothesis can be found in his previous works on the subject. The writing was all over the place and there was at least one point where it was clear ‘copy and paste’ has been utilised. I felt the urge to find a red pen at times. More might have been made of the South of France connection or possibly of the Mystery Religion aspects.
Generally, on balance, this book is alright, but if you’ve read earlier books you probably aren’t getting anything new. I will be passing this one on to my sister for her historians perspective.
JULIAN DOYLE is the editor of ‘Life of Brian’ and is also one of the world’s most versatile filmmakers. He has written and directed his own films, and edited, photographed and created Fx on others. He is most famous for editing the Monty Python Films and shooting the Fxs for Terry Gilliam’s movies ‘TimeBandits and ‘Brazil’, which he also edited.
He has written and directed three feature films. ‘Love Potion’ about a drug rehabilitation centre, described as Hitchcockian. ‘Chemical Wedding’ featuring Simon Callow about the outrageous British occultist, Aleister Crowley and described by one American reviewer as ‘Thoroughly entertaining although at times you wonder if the film makers have not lost all there senses’. He has also directed award winning pop videos such as Kate Bush’s ‘CloudBusting’ featuring Donald Sutherland and Iron Maiden’s ‘Play With Madness’.
He recently wrote and directed the play ‘Twilight of the Gods’ investigating the tumultuous relationship between Richard Wagner and Friedrich Nietzsche and described by ‘Philosophy Today’ as ‘Masterful!’ the film version now being used as a teaching aid in US Universities.
Julian was born in London and started life in the slums of Paddington. His Irish father, Bob, was one of the youngest members of the International Brigade that went to fight against Franco’s invasion of democratic Spain. His mother, Lola, was born in Spain of an Asturian miner who died early of silicosis. She was thereafter brought up in a Catholic orphanage in Oviedo.
Julian started his education at St. Saviours, a church primary school. He went on to Haverstock secondary school, one of the first comprehensive schools in England. His first job was as a junior technician to Professor Peter Medawar’s team, which won the Nobel Prize soon after Julian’s arrival. Not that he claims any credit for that. At night school he passed his ‘A’ level exams and took a Zoology degree at London University. After a year at the Institute of Education, he taught biology before going to the London Film School. On leaving he started a film company with other students. Besides film making, Julian is well known for his Master-classes in Film Directing.
Monty Python’s Terry Jones described Julian as a Polymath.
While still at school, Julian had a daughter, Margarita who was brought up in the family. He then had two further children, Jud and Jessie.