Robert M. Price

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For other people named Robert Price, see Robert Price.
Robert M. Price
Robert M. Price 1.jpg
Born Robert McNair Price
(1954-07-07) July 7, 1954 (age 60)
Jackson, Mississippi[1]
Residence North Carolina
Education BA, MTS (1978)
PhD in Systematic Theology (1981)
PhD in New Testament (1993)[1]
Alma mater Montclair State University
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
Drew University
Occupation Theologian
Employer Professor of biblical criticism for the Council for Secular Humanism's Center for Inquiry Institute[2]
Known for Views on the historicity of Jesus, support for the Christ myth theory
Spouse(s) Carol Selby Price[3]
Children Victoria and Veronica[1]
Website
robertmprice.mindvendor.com
The Bible Geek

Robert McNair Price (born July 7, 1954) is an American theologian and writer. He teaches philosophy and religion at the Johnnie Colemon Theological Seminary,[4] is professor of biblical criticism at the Center for Inquiry Institute, and the author of a number of books on theology and the historicity of Jesus, including Deconstructing Jesus (2000), The Reason Driven Life (2006), Jesus is Dead (2007), Inerrant the Wind: The Evangelical Crisis in Biblical Authority (2009), The Case Against the Case for Christ (2010), and The Amazing Colossal Apostle: The Search for the Historical Paul (2012).[5]

A former Baptist minister, he was the editor of the Journal of Higher Criticism from 1994 until it ceased publication in 2003, and has written extensively about the Cthulhu Mythos, a "shared universe" created by the writer H. P. Lovecraft.[6] He also co-wrote a book with his wife, Carol Selby Price, Mystic Rhythms: The Philosophical Vision of Rush (1999), on the rock band Rush.

Price is a fellow of the Jesus Seminar, a group of 150 writers and scholars who study the historicity of Jesus, the organizer of a Web community for those interested in the history of Christianity,[7] and sits on the advisory board of the Secular Student Alliance.[3] He is a religious skeptic, especially of orthodox Christian beliefs, occasionally describing himself as a Christian atheist. He is known in particular for his skepticism about the existence of Jesus as a historical figure, arguing in 2009 that Jesus may have existed but "unless someone discovers his diary or his skeleton, we'll never know."[8] (see also Christ myth theory)

In 1999, he debated William Lane Craig over the Jesus' resurrection.[9]

Background[edit]

Price was formerly a Baptist minister in New Jersey, with doctorates in theology (Drew University 1981), and New Testament (Drew 1993).[10]

Religious writings[edit]

In books like The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man and Deconstructing Jesus, Price challenges biblical literalism and argues for a more skeptical and humanistic approach to Christianity. He questions the idea of a historical Jesus; in the documentary The God Who Wasn't There, Price supports a version of the Jesus myth hypothesis, suggesting that the early Christians adopted the model for the figure of Jesus from the popular Mediterranean dying-rising saviour myths of the time, such as that of Dionysus. He argues that the comparisons were known at the time, as early church father, Justin Martyr had admitted the similarities. Price suggests that Christianity simply adopted themes from the dying-rising god stories of the day and supplemented them with themes (escaping crosses, empty tombs, children being persecuted by tyrants, etc.) from the popular stories of the day in order to come up with the narratives about Christ.[citation needed] He has argued that there was an almost complete fleshing out of the details of the gospels by a Midrash (haggadah) rewriting of the Septuagint, Homer, Euripides' Bacchae, and Josephus.[11]

H. P. Lovecraft scholarship[edit]

As editor of the journal Crypt of Cthulhu[12] (published by Necronomicon Press) and of a series of Cthulhu Mythos anthologies,[13][14][15] Price has been a major figure in H. P. Lovecraft scholarship and fandom for many years.[16] In essays that introduce the anthologies and the individual stories, Price traces the origins of Lovecraft's entities, motifs, and literary style. The Cthulhu Cycle, for example, saw the origins of the octopoid entity in Alfred Lord Tennyson's "The Kraken" and particular passages from Lord Dunsany, while The Dunwich Cycle points to the influence of Arthur Machen on Lovecraft's "The Dunwich Horror".

Price's religious background often informs his Mythos criticism, seeing gnostic themes in Lovecraft's fictional god Azathoth[17] and interpreting "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" as a kind of initiation ritual.[18]

Most of the early Cthulhu books by Chaosium were overseen by Price; his first book was The Hastur Cycle (1993), a collection of short stories which traced the development of a single Lovecraftian element, and this was followed by Mysteries of the Worm (1993), a collection of Robert Bloch's Mythos fiction.[19]

Other works[edit]

Price runs The Bible Geek, a broadcast show that allows people to ask the Bible Geek questions that he will answer.[20] In 2010 he became one of three new hosts on Point of Inquiry (the Center for Inquiry's podcast), following the retirement of host D. J. Grothe from the show. Having appeared on the show twice before as a guest (see external links below), he will now host about a quarter of the new podcasts.[21]

In 2005, he appeared in Brian Flemming's documentary film The God Who Wasn't There.

Books[edit]

On religion
On the Cthulhu Mythos (as editor or author)

Note: many of Price's Cthulhu Mythos anthologies have appeared in French and Spanish editions (some unauthorised).

Magazines[edit]

Editor of Midnight Shambler and Crypt of Cthulhu.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Robert M. Price, The Jesus Project, Center for Inquiry.
  2. ^ Robert M. Price, Westar Institute; Advisory Board Secular Student Alliance, accessed April 15, 2010.
  3. ^ a b Advisory Board Secular Student Alliance, accessed April 15, 2010.
  4. ^ jctseminary.org online courses
  5. ^ For Price's academic posts, see About CFI Indiana Institute, Center for Inquiry Institute, accessed April 9, 2010; Robert M. Price - Top Secret: The Truth Behind Today’s Pop Mysticisms, Point of Inquiry, May 30, 2008, accessed April 9, 2010; Biography, robertmprice.mindvendor.com, accessed April 9, 2010.
  6. ^ Journal of Higher Criticism, accessed April 9, 2010; Joshi, S T. and Schultz, David E. An H.P. Lovecraft Encyclopedia. Hippocampus Press, p. 217. ISBN 0-9748789-1-X
  7. ^ Tokasz, Jay. Scholars to explore existence of Jesus, The Buffalo News, November 30, 2008, accessed February 22, 2009.
  8. ^ Jacoby, David A. Compelling Evidence For God and the Bible: Finding Truth in an Age of Doubt. Harvest House Publishers, 2010, p. 97.
  9. ^ Video on YouTube
  10. ^ Brief Biography of Robert M. Price
  11. ^ Price, Robert M. (2005). "New Testament narrative as Old Testament midrash". In Jacob Neusner and Alan J. Avery-Peck. Encyclopaedia of Midrash: Biblical Interpretation in Formative Judaism. Leiden: Brill. ISBN 90-04-14166-9. 
  12. ^ Harms, Daniel. The Cthulhu Mythos Encyclopedia. Elder Signs Press. p. XV. ISBN 1-934501-05-0. 
  13. ^ Shannon Appelcline, A Brief History of Game #3: Chaosium: 1975-present on RPG.net
  14. ^ Joshi, S.T. Icons of Horror and the Supernatural: An Encyclopedia of Our Worst Nightmares. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 126. ISBN 0-313-33780-2. The Cthulhu Mythos remains a popular venue in literature and the media. Since the 1980s Robert M. Price has been a kind of August Derleth redivivus in publishing a dozen or more anthologies of Cthulhu Mythos tales by writers old and new 
  15. ^ Mitchell, Charles P. The Complete H.P. Lovecraft Filmography. Greenwood Press. p. 6. ISBN 0-313-31641-4. 
  16. ^ Hite, Kenneth (2008). Tour De Lovecraft: The Tales. Atomic Overmind Press. p. xiii. Joshi's only rival for eminence in the field durin the 1980s and 1990s was Robert M. Price 
  17. ^ Price, Robert M.. "Introduction". The Azathoth Cycle. Chaosium. ISBN 1-56882-040-2. 
  18. ^ Hite, Kenneth (2008). Tour De Lovecraft: The Tales. Atomic Overmind Press. p. 84. Equally importantly and convincingly, Price analyses the tale as a vision-quest, a coming-of-age ordeal ritual, which I have to say is pretty dead-on. 
  19. ^ Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. p. 91. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7. 
  20. ^ The Bible Geek
  21. ^ "Center for Inquiry Announces Three New Hosts for its Popular Podcast, ‘Point of Inquiry’". Center for Inquiry. Retrieved 2010-02-14. 

External links[edit]