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American Jesus: How the Son of God Became a National Icon

American Jesus: How the Son of God Became a National Icon Cover

 

Review-A-Day

"In Prothero's hands, Jesus does not so much shape American culture as soak it up, a happy tourist from the Holy Land. American Jesus is interested in the country's singular mix of whimsy, obliviousness to theological complexity, and spiritual lust that has created a Son able to serve many — 'the man that nobody hates' in Prothero's phrase....Prothero ends up bemused by the propensity for endless plagiarism, the American habit of love and theft." Christine Stansell, The New Republic (read the entire New Republic review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The Story of the Transformation of Jesus from Divinity to Celebrity

The United States (it is often pointed out) is one of the most religious countries on earth, and most Americans belong to one Christian church or another. But as Stephen Prothero argues in American Jesus, many of the most interesting appraisals of Jesus have emerged outside the churches: in music, film, and popular culture; and among Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, and people of no religion at all.

Popular revisions of Jesus are nothing new: Thomas Jefferson famously took scissors to the New Testament to produce a Jesus he could call his own. In Prothero's incisive chronicle, the emergence of a cult of Jesus--as folk hero and commercial icon--is America's most distinctive contribution to Western religion. Prothero describes how Jesus was enlisted by abolitionists and Klansmen, by Teddy Roosevelt and Marcus Garvey. He explains how, in our own time, the proliferation of Jesus' image on Broadway stages and bumper stickers, on the cover of Time and on the Internet, in a Holy Land theme park and on a hot-air balloon, expresses the strange mix of the secular and the sacred in contemporary America.

American Jesus is a lively and often witty work of history. As an account of the ways Americans have cast the carpenter from Nazareth in their own image, it is also an examination, through the looking glass, of the American character.

Review:

"[A] sparkling and engrossing book." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"Prothero assembles a dizzying national collage, piquant but strangely selective." Booklist

Review:

"Prothero has crafted a marvelous book — and a great read — on a vital and absorbing subject." Harvey Cox, author of Many Mansions: A Christian's Encounters with Other Faiths

Review:

"Wry and pungent....A work on religion that's also entertaining to read — no mean feat." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"This wide-ranging history traces a dual evolution: of American religion...in terms of its relationship to Jesus; and of his multiform manifestations in response to changing cultural currents." The New Yorker

Synopsis:

Jesus the Black Messiah; Jesus the Jew; Jesus the Hindu sage; Jesus the Haight-Asbury hippie: these Jesuses join the traditional figure of Jesus Christ in American Jesus, which was acclaimed upon publication in hardcover as an altogether fresh exploration of American history--and as the liveliest book about Jesus to appear in English in years.

Our nation's changing images of Jesus, Stephen Prothero contends, are a kind of looking class into the national character. Even as most Christian believers cleave to a traditional faith, other people give Jesus a leading role as folk hero, pitchman, and countercultural icon. And so it has been since the nation's founding--from Thomas Jefferson, who took scissors to his New Testament to sort out true from false Jesus material; to the Jews, Buddhists and Muslims who fit Jesus into their own traditions; to the people who adapt Jesus for stage and screen and the Holy Land theme park. American Jesus is "a lively, illuminating and accessible survey that takes us into unexpected corners of our shared religious heritage" (Dan Cryer, Newsday).

Synopsis:

In Prothero's incisive chronicle, the emergence of a cult of Jesus--as folk hero and commercial icon--is America's most distinctive contribution to Western religion.

About the Author

Stephen Prothero is a professor of religion at Boston University. He is the author of The White Buddhist and Purified by Fire: Cremation in American Culture. He has written for Salon and other publications.

Table of Contents

Part one: Resurrections — Enlightened sage — Sweet Savior — Manly Redeemer — Superstar — Part two: Reincarnations — Mormon Elder Brother — Black Moses — Rabbi.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374178901
Subtitle:
How the Son of God Became a National Icon
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Author:
Prothero, Stephen
Author:
Prothero, Stephen R.
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Controversial Knowledge
Subject:
Religion
Subject:
United States - General
Subject:
Christianity - Theology - Christology
Subject:
Christianity - History - General
Subject:
Popular Culture - General
Subject:
General Religion
Subject:
Christian Theology - Christology
Subject:
Jesus Christ--Person and offices
Subject:
United States Religion.
Subject:
Church History
Subject:
Social history
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Edition Description:
First
Series Volume:
FO 222
Publication Date:
20031215
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
8 pp. of bandw illustrations; index
Pages:
376
Dimensions:
9.3 x 6.22 x 1.42 in

Related Subjects

Religion » Christianity » Church History » American

American Jesus: How the Son of God Became a National Icon
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 376 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374178901 Reviews:
"Review A Day" by , "In Prothero's hands, Jesus does not so much shape American culture as soak it up, a happy tourist from the Holy Land. American Jesus is interested in the country's singular mix of whimsy, obliviousness to theological complexity, and spiritual lust that has created a Son able to serve many — 'the man that nobody hates' in Prothero's phrase....Prothero ends up bemused by the propensity for endless plagiarism, the American habit of love and theft." (read the entire New Republic review)
"Review" by , "[A] sparkling and engrossing book."
"Review" by , "Prothero assembles a dizzying national collage, piquant but strangely selective."
"Review" by , "Prothero has crafted a marvelous book — and a great read — on a vital and absorbing subject."
"Review" by , "Wry and pungent....A work on religion that's also entertaining to read — no mean feat."
"Review" by , "This wide-ranging history traces a dual evolution: of American religion...in terms of its relationship to Jesus; and of his multiform manifestations in response to changing cultural currents."
"Synopsis" by ,
Jesus the Black Messiah; Jesus the Jew; Jesus the Hindu sage; Jesus the Haight-Asbury hippie: these Jesuses join the traditional figure of Jesus Christ in American Jesus, which was acclaimed upon publication in hardcover as an altogether fresh exploration of American history--and as the liveliest book about Jesus to appear in English in years.

Our nation's changing images of Jesus, Stephen Prothero contends, are a kind of looking class into the national character. Even as most Christian believers cleave to a traditional faith, other people give Jesus a leading role as folk hero, pitchman, and countercultural icon. And so it has been since the nation's founding--from Thomas Jefferson, who took scissors to his New Testament to sort out true from false Jesus material; to the Jews, Buddhists and Muslims who fit Jesus into their own traditions; to the people who adapt Jesus for stage and screen and the Holy Land theme park. American Jesus is "a lively, illuminating and accessible survey that takes us into unexpected corners of our shared religious heritage" (Dan Cryer, Newsday).

"Synopsis" by , In Prothero's incisive chronicle, the emergence of a cult of Jesus--as folk hero and commercial icon--is America's most distinctive contribution to Western religion.
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