The Historical Chaitanya

Aug 16 2004, I posted the following on Gaudiya Discussions:

For a long time now, liberal Christian scholars and theologians have been doing text critical research of the gospels. There is a group called the Jesus Seminar which has published books in which they have gone through the gospels giving the scholarly consensus regarding what the historical Jesus really said and did. Much of the material is considered to be creations of the various authors as they developed the theology/Christology over time. It is generally agreed that Jesus did not think of himself as the messiah and did not perform many of the miracles attributed to him. This does not mean that the stories are not spiritually true and lack value. Rather than being considered historical in the modern sense, they are more mythological. Of course, these scholars are coming from a rational, scientific point of view and that affects their assumptions. Besides, Jesus is both man and God or a shaktavesh avatar.

Has any work of this nature been done regarding Sri Chaitanya? Of course, we believe him to be God, but did he consider himself to be God? Did he do all the “miracles” attributed to him? Do we have an accurate record of his teachings or were a lot of things developed by the goswamis and others on their own? These questions should be easier to answer since he is more recent than Jesus and was surrounded by scholars and political leaders in a literate society.

I just finished reading Lord Chaitanya by O.B.L. Kapoor who was a scholar. He tells the story well but does not go into the type of analysis I am asking about. It sounds quite believable, but I would like to know the scholarly opinion.

To read the discussion that followed, you can click here: Gaudiya Discussions -%3E The Historical Chaitanya


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