The Godless Gospel: Was Jesus a great moral teacher?, by Julian Baggini

Author: Julian Baggini. Review by John Lampen

‘Jesus understood that compassion drives personal and social change.’ | Photo: Sixth-century mosaic, Basilica dei Santi Cosma e Damiano, Lazio, Italy (Ivan Vdovin/Alamy)

I found this a very stimulating book. It asks whether Jesus was ‘a great moral teacher’, as Richard Dawkins has called him, and whether his ethics are still valid for us if we remove all the divine and supernatural elements. You may think this is rather a narrow, even irrelevant, quest today. Our society’s values may have a Christian foundation, but Julian Baggini is surely right to say that ‘most people today have only a vague sense of what Jesus actually taught, a thin recollection from childhood education’.

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