Christspiracy review

Kip, Kam, and a rescued lamb

NOTE: Christspiracy tickets are now available!

There is one scene from Christspiracy, about three-quarters of the way through, that stands out for me. It’s from the Gadhimai Festival in Nepal, a Hindu festival which features a mass slaughter of animals “sacrificed” to the Hindu goddess Gadhimai. The mass slaughter cannot begin until the first animals are killed. We see large crowds of festival celebrants everywhere. After the knife descends on the first victim (the act of slaughter itself is mercifully hidden from the camera), the crowd erupts in blood-curdling cheers. They are happy—indeed, delighted—to see the slaughter begin.

Wait a minute. “Christspiracy”: isn’t this about, like, Christ? What are Hindus doing in the movie at all? And besides, we all associate Hinduism with ahimsa, Gandhi, vegetarianism, and things like that, so what’s with this mass slaughter of animals?

The movie is about coming up with an answer to the questions that Kameron Waters asks Kip Andersen at the beginning: Is there a spiritual way to kill an animal? How would Jesus kill an animal? Continue readingChristspiracy review”

Videos from SMTV interview

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recently, Supreme Master Television, the station devoted to vegan spiritual leader Supreme Master Ching Hai, asked me some questions in an interview for their online TV station. They generously gave me the footage and permission to use it however I wanted. I have edited them and added them to my YouTube Channel (@keithakerscolorado). At some point they may put some excerpts from the video on their web site, and I will post a link here if that happens, but you can view six substantial excerpts of this interview on my YouTube channel right now.

The questions concerned my two most recent books, Disciples and Embracing Limits. So some questions were about the history of early Christianity and some were about the environmental crisis. Here is a list of the videos: Continue reading “Videos from SMTV interview”

ACT radio interview on Christmas Eve

The link to the interview recording has been posted; it is here.

CORRECTION: El Paso, Texas, is also in Mountain time, just like Colorado, so it will be at 7:30 pm MST, not 6:30 pm as previously stated.

I will be on an Animal Concerns of Texas (ACT) radio program this Sunday (Dec. 24, Christmas eve) at 7:30 pm MST. It will be on KTEP, a public radio station in El Paso, Texas, and found online here as well as at 88.5 on your FM dial (if you’re within about 100 miles of El Paso). Topics will include Jesus and animals, vegetarianism and veganism more generally, and my latest book Embracing Limits.

Currently hosted by Dr. Elizabeth Walsh and Tom Linney, ACT radio has been on the air for 20 years. On their website you can find interviews with dozens of people such as Brenda Davis, Judy Carman, Seth Tibbott, Jamie Berger, Thomas Jackson, and Neal Barnard.

Western Yoga podcast interview

Rev. Chris Sartain recently interviewed me on the Western Yoga podcast. We discussed a variety of topics concerning two of my books, Disciples and Embracing Limits, such as the history of vegetarianism, the conflict in the early Christian church, simple living, limits to growth, and the environmental crisis.

Chris Sartain lives in Chile, is an ordained teacher in the Kriya Yoga tradition, and is the director of Vinyasa Yoga Chile. His podcast is about Yoga as it is practiced and taught in the West, and discusses Yoga philosophy and practices from a Westerner’s point of view. This is Episode 42 of the Western Yoga podcast.

 

 

Christspiracy—coming soon!

CHRISTSPIRACY  . . . they’re all looking at what’s on Jesus’ plate

 

UPDATE Feb. 21, 2024: According to Plant Based News, “The filmmakers have now confirmed that Christspiracy will be released worldwide on March 20, 2024.”

Early in 2018, I got an email from Kip Andersen asking whether I might be interested in being interviewed for a new documentary. That’s Kip Andersen, of Cowspiracy, Seaspiracy, and What the Health fame.

Is grass green? Does the navy have ships? Of course I was. I thought that the new movie would be about the environment, sort of a continuation of Cowspiracy. Well, silly me, it wasn’t. It was about ethics, religion, and animals. Continue readingChristspiracy—coming soon!”

Jesus and Animal Sacrifice

Jesus in the temple (Greco) – public domain image

As we approach Easter, it is worth reminding everyone why Jesus was killed: because of his opposition to animal sacrifice.

This opposition led him to go into the temple and disrupt the animal sacrifice business. Shortly thereafter he was crucified by the Romans, doubtless because of his actions in the temple. Christians often remember the incident in the temple as “Jesus drives out the dishonest money changers,” but it is clear from both the gospels as well as the history of Christianity that the money changers had little to do with it. It is one of the few incidents in Jesus’ life that is found in all four gospels (Matthew 21:12-13, Mark 11:15-17, Luke 19:45-46, John 2:13-17). Continue reading “Jesus and Animal Sacrifice”

Review of Disciples by Norm Phelps

Norm Phelps, noted animal activist and author, has written the following review of Disciples, which is posted on the Amazon web site, and which can be ordered here.

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Keith Akers’ earlier book on the origins of Christianity, The Lost Religion of Jesus: Simple Living and Nonviolence in Early Christianity (Lantern Books, 2000) was a pioneering work of original scholarship that opened up new vistas in two fields: the ongoing search for the historical Jesus and the history of vegetarianism. Continue reading “Review of Disciples by Norm Phelps”

Interview on “Main Street Vegan”

UPDATE January 31, 2015: here is the direct link to the recording of this podcast.

I will be interviewed by Victoria Moran of “Main Street Vegan” on Wednesday, June 18, at 1 pm Mountain Daylight time (that’s noon Pacific, 2 pm Central, and 3 pm Eastern). Most people listen to the podcast rather than the live show, but for those who listen in, we will be giving away a free copy of either Disciples or The Lost Religion of Jesus. Call in with questions: 888-558-6489 (U.S.); 816-347-5519 (outside the U.S).  After the show the episode will be posted on the “Main Street Vegan” web site. To listen to the podcast while it’s in progress, go to http://www.unity.fm/popout-player.

 

 

Review of Disciples by Stephen R. Kaufman

Stephen Kaufman wrote the following review of Disciples.  It appeared in the May 15 issue of the e-newsletter of the Christian Vegetarian Association.

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Nearly all Christians accept without question the assertion that Christianity started with Jesus. In this remarkable book, Keith Akers argues convincingly that the movement now called Christianity preceded Jesus’ ministry. It regarded Jesus as an exemplary leader, but evidently it did not consider Jesus divine.

Akers focuses on the Jewish Christian movement – those Jews who followed Jesus during his life and honored him after his death. Though they were the ones who knew Jesus best, their understanding of his teachings was eventually deemed heretical by a Gentile church that was heavily influenced by Paul. Continue reading “Review of Disciples by Stephen R. Kaufman”

Review of Disciples in “The Dubious Disciple”

The following review of Disciples appeared in Lee Harmon’s blog “The Dubious Disciple”:

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Wow. I wish I had written this book. Speculative but convincingly argued, it strikes a perfect balance between reason and wonder, as it traces the evolution and demise of Jewish Christianity.

I have both curiosity and sympathy for the Ebionites, that early Jewish Christian sect which probably stemmed from the first Christians in Jerusalem, headed by Jesus’ brother James. Their disagreements with Paul, their emphasis on simplicity, and their primitive Christology have always intrigued me. Continue reading “Review of Disciples in “The Dubious Disciple””

Review of “Disciples” in “The Metaphysical Express”

Pat Moauro, the editor of The Metaphysical Express (London, Ontario, Canada), has written a review of Disciples, which is posted below. Pat encourages anyone who wants a copy of this journal to e-mail him at patmor123 (at) gmail (dot) com.

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After reading Keith Akers’ newest book, Disciples, I must admit I found some of his information about the origins of Christianity startling and surprising. Although I left traditional Christianity many years ago in favour of metaphysical and New Thought Christianity, I was still somewhat taken aback while reading this book and its conclusions about Jesus Christ, the organization and church built around his name, and the way Christianity has splintered and shattered into hundreds of competing sects and groups, each claiming to be the “True” church founded by Jesus. Continue reading “Review of “Disciples” in “The Metaphysical Express””

Review of “Disciples” by Brian Wagner

Here’s another review of Disciples:

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Keith Akers’ latest effort, Disciples:  How Jewish Christianity shaped Jesus and Shattered the Church, is a ground-breaking examination of a largely misunderstood period in Christian history.  Akers’ illumination of primary sources throws into question many long-held beliefs of the trajectory of early Christianity.  His systematic review of the surviving evidence gradually builds a formidable and convincing framework for an understanding of the early faith.  If you are interested in pre-Nicene Christianity, this is a must-read.

Brian Wagner, doctoral candidate, New Testament and Early Christian Studies, University of South Africa.

Review of “Disciples” on All-Creatures.Org

Frank and Mary Hoffman, who administer the All-Creatures.org website, one of the top Christian vegetarian websites in English, recently reviewed Disciples. Here’s what they said:

Disciples by Keith Akers is a very interesting and well researched book. The main focus of Disciples is to take an in-depth look at “Jewish Christianity” as it has commonly been called, which Akers contends may go back 1000 years or more before Jesus, which to us refers to a messianic movement. Continue reading “Review of “Disciples” on All-Creatures.Org”

“Vegetarian Propaganda”

Jesus and Nicodemus (H. O. Tanner)

Recently, in response to a friend’s blurb promoting Disciples on Facebook, someone asked whether the author of the book (namely, me) was promoting vegetarian “propaganda.”

I have heard this same basic objection before, expressed in other ways. Readers feel that describing Jesus or early Christianity as vegetarian is strange. A reviewer of my previous book The Lost Religion of Jesus politely said, “There is, for my taste, an overemphasis on vegetarianism as one of the differences between the Jewish Christian groups and the Gentile Christian church.” Another reviewer, less politely, described The Lost Religion of Jesus as “an apologetic book for vegetarianism with a religious ‘seal of approval’ applied”; still another said that it was “a poorly supported argument for becoming a vegetarian.” Continue reading ““Vegetarian Propaganda””