In this book Michael J. Thate offers an experiment in reception criticism in its consideration of the formation and reception of the historical Jesus discourse. He also attempts to historicize Leben-Jesu-Forschung within debates and narratives of secularization. These two foci guide the book through its two parts. First Thate explicates Schweitzer's dominant archival function in Leben-Jesu-Forschung, while aiming to make fragile the "grand architect's" receptive hegemony. Then he combines critical memory theory and other theoretical readings of the material in an attempt to refocus the study of the historical Jesus as early Christian memory politics in the service of identity explication. He attempts to problematize Schweitzer's legacy of a tidy systematic approach in which much of historical Jesus scholarship continues to operate.