Jesus in the Flesh, Here and Now with Harvey Cox, Ph.D.

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What if God really is one of us? Is Jesus still present today in a tangible way? Is there any support within traditional Christian theology for a feminine deity? That's not what many of us were taught in our early religious studies classes. Often God was portrayed as a distant, judgmental, patriarchal figure. But Harvard professor Harvey Cox believes that's not at all what Jesus' message was. In fact, Professor Cox believes that "the idea that God is to be found in human life, and in the entanglement of human life, is what the message of Christianity is about." Like most of his students at Harvard, many of us have become disillusioned with institutionalized religion, and yet have developed a deep and meaningful spirituality. But Cox points to ancient teachings that actually support a personal and intimate experience of the divine. He explains why the prominent role of women was edited out of the mainstream Christian Bible. And in a time when religious fervor seems to be the armor of warriors all around the globe, Harvey Cox helps us understand the rift between America's religious right and the nonviolent teachings of Jesus. In the end, this educator, author and theologian brings us back to a new - and more inviting - view of "fundamental" Christianity in its truest form. (hosted by Michael Toms)


Harvey Cox, Ph.D. served as Hollis Research Professor of Divinity at Harvard (retired 2009).

He is the author of: 

  • The Secular City: Secularization and Urbanization in Theological Perspective (Collier Books 1990, 25th anniversary edition)
  • The Seduction of the Spirit: The Use and Misuse of People's Religion (Touchstone 1985)
  • When Jesus Came to Harvard: Making Moral Choices Today (Houghton Mifflin 2004)
  • The Future of Faith (HarperCollins 2009)

To learn more about the work of Harvey Cox go to

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • Where you can find evidence that Christ is present here and now, in the flesh
  • How Jesus challenged social and political conventions of his time
  • Why the religious right in America avoids talking directly about Jesus
  • How the Gospel of John may have been influenced by Buddhism
  • Where you can find references to feminist theology in the Bible
  • Why Jesus is recognized in Jewish, Moslem and Buddhist, as well as Christian traditions
Host: Michael Toms      Interview Date: 2/24/2005       Program Number: 3081