Terry Eagleton: Crucifixion? It wasn't that bad, says professor





The Crucifixion of Christ "wasn't as bad as it's been painted", an outspoken Marxist academic will claim on the BBC this month.

Terry Eagleton, Professor of Cultural Theory at the University of Manchester, will say on Radio 4's Lent Talks that Jesus "got off pretty lightly" because it only took him three hours to die, The Daily Telegraph has learned.

He adds that Jesus's scourging was a "blessing in disguise" because it hastened his death. He also attacks modern Christianity for siding with the rich and abandoning the poor.

Professor Eagleton's remarks in the run-up to Easter have enraged traditionalists, who also criticised the BBC for commissioning him.

But the corporation said that the talks, to be given by six well-known figures, including the Bishop of Durham, the Rt Rev Tom Wright, and Ann Widdecombe, the former Tory minister, would offer a range of perspectives.

Professor Eagleton, one of the world's leading literary theorists, is well known for his clashes with fellow intellectuals and was involved in a fierce spat with Martin Amis last year after accusing the novelist of "Islamaphobia".


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