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The Gospel According to Jesus Christ (Harvest in Translation)by Jose Saramago
I have always been fascinated by the infinite variety of theological expression. Though no monotheist myself, an early thrill for me was to discover the Gnostics and their non-literal take on Scripture. My favorite saying of Jesus comes from the Gospel of Thomas: "If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you." The line resonates on the level of creative potential and of how important it is that we all engage our own creative impulses. We lovers of fiction are supremely lucky to have José Saramago, who writes some of the most poetic and deeply satisfying of prose in The Gospel According to Jesus Christ, he exercises his creative potential to give us the skeptic's version of the life of Jesus and whether you agree or disagree, you will be compelled to examine the ways in which (for bad or for good) religion and spirituality reverberate through our daily lives.
Synopses & Reviews
A wry, fictional account of the life of Christ by Nobel laureate José Saramago
A brilliant skeptic, José Saramago envisions the life of Jesus Christ and the story of his Passion as things of this earth: A child crying, the caress of a woman half asleep, the bleat of a goat, a prayer uttered in the grayish morning light. His idea of the Holy Family reflects the real complexities of any family, and—as only Saramago can—he imagines them with tinges of vision, dream, and omen. The result is a deft psychological portrait that moves between poetry and irony, spirituality and irreverence of a savior who is at once the Son of God and a young man. In this provocative, tender novel, the subject of wide critical discussion and wonder, Saramago questions the meaning of God, the foundations of the Church, and human existence itself.
For Saramago, the life of Jesus and the story of His Passion are things of this Earth: a child crying, a gust of wind, the caress of a woman half asleep, the bleat of a goat or the bark of a dog, a prayer uttered in the gray morning light. This beautifully rendered work of prose by one of Europe's most respected writers is a defiance of the authority of God the Father, but not a denial.
This is a skeptics journey into the meaning of God and of human existence. At once an ironic rendering of the life of Christ and a beautiful novel, Saramagos tale has sparked intense discussion about the meaning of Christianity and the Church as an institution. Translated by Giovanni Pontiero.
About the Author
JOSÉ SARAMAGO was born in 1922. He is the author of numerous novels, including Blindness, All the Names, The Cave, and Death with Interruptions. In 1998 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
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