"This is not, obviously, a claim regarding the explicit intent of any of the evangelists. But even Christianity's most implacable modern critics should be willing to acknowledge that, in these texts and others like them, we see something beginning to emerge from darkness into full visibility, arguably for the first time in our history: the human person as such, invested with an intrinsic and inviolable dignity, and possessed of an infinite value."
David Bentley Hart, Atheist delusions: the Christian revolution and its fashionable enemies (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2009), 166-167. I was reminded that I had meant to put this passage up by Hart's defense of it against the passing critique of Anthony Kenny in the Times literary supplement, March 5, 2010, p. 6 (Kenny had reviewed Atheist delusions in the issue of the TLS dated 19 February):
to call attention to the novelty, for its time, of the gospels' treatment of Peter's grief--elevating a rustic, with a particular name and face, to a position of tragic centrality in the narrative--is not to ignore antique depictions of the joys and sorrows of anonymous peasants; it is merely to observe the considerable difference in moral sensibility separating the former from the latter(italics mine).
Having completed Beyond good and evil recently, I can't help but think by contrast of Nietzsche (though Nietzsche is a sophisticated thinker, and therefore still beyond me).