Beyond the Gospels: Jesus Revisioned with Alexander Shaia


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Program Description

Throughout his academic and spiritual life Alexander Shaia repeatedly encountered many examples of a recurring four-fold pattern whose imprint could be found across time, geography, culture and religious tradition. The explanation of why there were four gospels came to him in a flash of insight in which he understood the gospels as being part of this universal four-fold pattern whose original purpose was not primarily to tell the story of Jesus. “The importance of the gospels,” he contends, “is they are the answers to four great spiritual questions; How do you face change? How do you endure suffering? How do you receive joy? and How do you serve?” With this understanding the Gospels transcend the identity of being the sacred text of a tribe to being a sacred text of the universe and a guide to lead us to understand what we need to know in each new moment as we face the challenges and opportunities of our own lives.

Alexander Shaia, Ph.D, is an educator, psychotherapist, liturgist, workshop and retreat leader. His is the founder and director of the Blue Door Retreat in Sante Fe, NM. He is the author of Beyond The Biography of Jesus: The Journey of Quadratos Books I and II ( Cold Tree Press 2006 and 2007) and the Study Guides for Books I and II. To learn more about the work of Alexander Shaia go to

Topics Explored in this Dialogue:

  • Why there are only four gospels
  • What are the four great spiritual questions the gospels answer
  • Why the gospels are not primarily histories of Jesus, but texts of spiritual practice
  • How the place each gospel was written is important to understanding that purpose of that gospel
  • How this understanding gives a whole new meaning to the canonical Gospels

Program Number: 3195             Host: Michael Toms         Interview Date: 2/22/2007


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