Last night, when Eve brought this article to my attention, she asked, “Do you remember Tom Madden?”
I imagined John Madden. “Yeah.”
“You know he’s an expert on the Crusades?”
How nice for John Madden, I thought. “No.”
Sensing that something was wrong with my brain, Eve said, “Thomas Madden, from the SLU history department?”
“Oh, yeah, yeah.” I said. I think I covered myself pretty well.
Turns out a few years ago Dr. Madden wrote an article that appeared in the National Review, called “Not Dead Yet,” about the Naked Archaeologist’s The Lost Tomb of Jesus. Calling Simcha Jacobovici a “Naked Archaeologist,” mind you, is like calling me a “Bejeweled Pro Wrestler”–he is neither an archaeologist nor is he naked. “Fully Clothed Failure” seems more apt.
Regardless, it was published in March 2008 to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the release of the Discovery Channel’s misguided airing of James Cameron’s goofy documentary, and it seems to fit within the scope of this site.
Of course the tomb of Jesus nonsense is nonsense but unfortunately this debunking comes from Dr. Madden.
Wish I could take Dr. Madden seriously, but his recent book on the Crusades reads to me like Don Quxiote tilting against a “politically correct” windmill in his fevered mind.
I came across a discussion of Madden’s Crusades book on the JREF forum and got interested because Bob and I are vaguely acquainted with him. I haven’t read the book, but I did wonder based on some of the quotes if he was writing from a bit of a pro-Catholic point of view. He does teach at a Jesuit university–not that that necessarily means anything. It’s not as if there’s a “go-easy-on-the-Catholics” publishing requirement. And again, I haven’t read the book, so it’s not fair of me to judge it. I just felt a vague uneasiness.