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Excerpts from Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi's Foreword to the 2009 edition
of The Gospel According to Gamaliel
There are some pivotal encounters in our lives, and for me one of these was meeting Gerald Heard. It isn’t easy to estimate the impact of his person and thought when it has become so pervasive in the system files of my thought processor. My work in Spiritual Eldering that became expressed in my book From Age-ing To Sage-ing is based on Gerald’s The Five Ages of Man, where he can be seen as the savant, the repository of the most encompassing cosmology of his generation.
But the book in which he astonished me to the core was his The Gospel According to Gamaliel. In view of the spate of Gospel material published lately it is meet and just that this book be made available again. It takes the genius of Gerald Heard to get into the mind of Gamaliel, to demonstrate how even in the life of Jesus there occurred a turn from the all-accepting and embracing Savior, to the now polarized and attacked Jesus and the harshness that he at times expressed when cornered. Heard places himself in the mind of the wise and sage Gamaliel and gives us much understanding about how these polarizing tensions began, grew, and increased. [He] widens our perspective to see the larger landscape of those turbulent days during which the drama of the life and death of Jesus and the apostleships of Paul and Peter took place. So enter the mind of Gerald Heard and see through his eyes looking through the eyes of Gamaliel the story that was pivotal in the history of humanity.
Note: These are excerpts from Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi's nearly 1,800-word foreword to The Gospel According to Gamaliel. In his entire foreword, Rabbi masterfully explores the fascinating convergence of several wide-ranging factors that occurred at the time of Jesus. To read the entire foreword, purchase your copy of The Gospel According to Gamaliel at the sites listed below.
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Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi is founder of the Jewish Renewal and Spiritual Eldering movements, a pioneer in ecumenical relations, and a participant in world-wide interfaith dialogue. He has taught at the University of Manitoba, Temple University, and Naropa University. Reb Zalman, as he is widely known, has been an influential spiritual teacher for four decades. He has written or co-written several groundbreaking books, including From Age-ing to Sage-ing: A Profound New Vision of Growing Older, and Jewish With Feeling: A Guide to Meaningful Jewish Practice. Visit The Reb Zalman Legacy Project.
Copyright © 2009 by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi.
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO GAMALIEL is now available for purchase at the sites below:
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO GAMALIEL
Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi from his Foreword to the 2009 edition of The Gospel According to Gamaliel
"The book in which [Gerald Heard] astonished me to the core was his The Gospel According to Gamaliel. Heard widens our perspective to see the larger landscape of those turbulent days during which the drama of the life and death of Jesus and the apostleships of Paul and Peter took place. It is meet and just that this book be made available again."Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr
"An imaginative reconstruction of the life of Christ...really quite rewarding. His reconstruction of many familiar gospel scenes...is accomplished with artistic skill and restraint. Heard...imparts a new vividness to the issues at stake in the life and teaching of Jesus, by looking at them from a new and sharply defined perspective."The New York Times
"In his latest book, convincingly written, Mr. Heard has made a bold attempt to assign a narrative of Jesus to the lips of the Jewish Gamaliel, grandson of Hillel and president of the Sanhedrin at Jerusalem."Christian Century
"A profoundly moving and quickening book. There is freshness and insight in his novel treatment of some familiar Gospel incidents. Reading it is both an intellectual pleasure and a spiritual uplift."Edna M. Baxter
"The Gospel According to Gamaliel attempts to give insight into the life of Jesus through the eyes of the teacher of Paul."The Times Literary Supplement
"Mr. Heard writes with force and conviction and his story is ingenious as well as vivid."
Endorsements for the 2008 Wipf and Stock series of reissues
Professor Huston Smith, noted authority on the world’s religions
"There was a period in my early thirties when these four small books by Gerald Heard served almost as my bible. I read and reread them, and invariably found them to be uplifting and inspiring."
William H. Forthman, Ph.D., retired professor of philosophy
"Gerald Heard was an inspiring voice for the life of the spirit. Wipf and Stock is to be commended that Heard's remarkable work is being made available to a new generation of spiritual seekers."
Dr. (Hon.) Rhea A. White, founder/director of The Exceptional Human Experience Network
"Gerald Heard has been a continuous inspiration in my life since the 1950s. His books are modern spiritual classics that will encourage many aspirants on the spiritual path."