By Estelle Villeneuve
When Monty Python’s Life of Brian premiered in 1979, it was as plain as day to everyone that the scenario was inspired by the life of Jesus of Nazareth. But the Churches tended to overlook its fantastical interpretation of the traditional account as an exercise of artistic liberty and even showed some moderate appreciation, save for some that condemned it as blatant blasphemy. Nevertheless, this resolutely burlesque rereading was at the cutting edge of New Testament scholarship and research on the historical figure of Jesus!
From June 20th to 22nd, 2014, the crème de la crème of anglophone historians of Jesus of Nazareth gathered at King’s College in London to discuss the topic of “Jesus and Brian: What have the Pythons done for us?” The film was to help them gain perspective on their own scholarship and thereby facilitate a critical examination of their hypotheses, methods, and the reception of their discipline. A critical look with humor!
Translated from the French by Shijung Kim