Quest Historie 1/2010: Theologian Annette Merz has reached the second stage…

…and inadvertently touches the third.

Here’s a kind of Kübler-Ross model for new scientific truths:

  1. disregard (theory is ignored)
  2. combat (theory is fought fiercely and by all means including ridicule)
  3. acceptance (theory is approved, admitted and accepted)

These three stages do not derive from a revolutionary new insight into the scholarly reception of spearhead science and paradigm shifts. In general they may be based on personal experience, and in this context they are specifically quoted from a 2003 review of Francesco Carotta’s book Jezus was Caesar that Dutch historian Thomas von der Dunk published together with this Schopenhauerist paraphrase in Spiegel Historiael,1 an acclaimed and popular journal for history and archaeology. The Dutch magazine Quest however is a totally different kind of beast and belongs to the flashy form of yellow press that publishes popular science as infotainment—or “braintainment”, as the Dutch editors like to call it. On four extensively illustrated pages their offshoot Quest Historie covered Carotta’s theory that the historical Jesus was Julius Caesar, that Jesus Christ is Divus Iulius incognito, and that the Gospel is a diegetic transposition of the historical sources on Caesar’s Civil War.2 And they did so quite well…

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