The Resurrection of Jesus

From Karl Polanyi
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[79] Oswald Spengler … […]

Looking back on this history, we can distinguish between two periods: the period before the birth of the world religions and the period after it. The period of transition between the two stretches from the seventh century before the birth of Christ to the seventh century after it. Confucius, Lao-tse, Buddha, Jesus and Mohammed all lived in this short span.[1] Before it, the idea of a common fate of humanity was unknown. The essence of the establishment of religions lay in proclaiming the creation of a new order to replace the traditional order of power, wealth or ritual: a common order of all human beings based on living individual self-consciousness.

That is why there is no greater figure in the history of the white race than Jesus of Nazareth, and why … […]

[80] The Gospels show with convincing realism that Jesus himself was fully aware of his revolutionary mission. He foresaw his death as a martyr; indeed, he hastened his own death. […]

Jesus knew what we know today from the Gospels, that none of his followers understood his teachings. The Jews considered him as the Messiah, who would defeat every enemy with otherworldly help. […] This legend of the resurrection was the first step in that counterrevolution which, with varying degrees of success, has waged a struggle against Jesus' revolutionary appearance for nearly two thousand years. Later, the Catholic Church also joined this counterrevolutionary movement, monopolising Jesus' teachings for the benefit of the powerful and doing everything in its power to falsify the social and democratic meaning of his teachings and concealing from the wider masses.

But the legend of Jesus' physical resurrection, … […] The cultural activity of medieval Christianity, the advance of the Reformation, the French Revolution and modern socialism all bear witness to the fact that ever more people are becoming aware of the common fate of humanity in ever more distant and clearer objectives.

The ten and tens millions in the camp of socialism are the living proof that the forces of reaction will not triumph. This army of common people are sustained and infused by the gradually emerging spirit of peace, justice and humanity. They are the bearers of world history today, for in them the spirit of Jesus’ teachings has been resurrected in the clearest possible way.

Editors' Notes

  1. One may note the resemblance to Karl Jaspers 'Axial Age' [G. Dale and A. Fabry note]

Text Informations

Original Publication:Jézus feltámadása”, Bécsi Magyar Újság, 5 April 1923
KPA: 01/50, 1 (1 p.; original)
English Translation: “The Resurrection of Jesus”, in POLANYI 2016, p. 79-80
Other Languages:

Lg Name
FR La résurrection de Jésus