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The Messianic Legacy
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About the Author

Michael Baigent was born in New Zealand in 1948 and obtained a degree in psychology from Canterbury University. At one point he gave up a successful career in photojournalism to devote his time to researching the Templars for a film project. He lives in England and is the author of numerous books on ancient Christianity and conspiracy.

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This sequel to Holy Blood, Holy Grail ( LJ 1/15/82) continues the authors' investigation of the French Cabal, the Prieure de Sion. It is divided into three sections: (1) the concept of Messiahship in the thought of Jesus and his contemporaries, (2) the relevance of the concept today, and (3) the current activities of the Prieure. The three sections are related briefly in the epilogue: the Prierue, it is claimed, can provide a leader (Messiah) of the kind the world wants and needs. As with the previous volume, this one suffers from unsound generalizations, unfounded assumptions, and questionable handling of scholarly research. However, since some who read Holy Blood will be interested in the sequel, it is recommended, with reservations, for larger public libraries. Craig W. Beard, Harding Univ. Lib., Searcy, Ark.

The trio of authors of The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail (1982), which traced a Merovingian bloodline for Jesus, continue their inquiry into the origins of Christianity in this sequel. With zeal they search many contexts for the Jesus of history, rather than the Christ of faith, and begin by discounting the Gospels as reliable historical documents. From material culled from many disciplines, they arrive at a speculative, controversial image of Jesus greatly at variance with received Christian tradition. As in the earlier book, the authors rely heavily on the mysterious Prieure de Sion, alleged custodian of the Holy Grail. The inquiry presented here is an interesting melange of the factual and the imagined, of centuries-connected clues and serendipitous happenings involving such disparate offices as the CIA, the Vatican and the Mafia, among many. Those who believe in global conspiracies will enjoy the intrigue; others may be rightfully bemused. Photos. (October)

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