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Reading Jesus: A Writer's Encounter with the Gospelsby Mary Gordon
Synopses & Reviews
In the introduction to this remarkable book, Mary Gordon is riding in a taxi as the driver listens to a religious broadcast, and she reflects that, though a lifelong Christian, she is at odds with many others who identify themselves as Christians. In an effort to understand whether or not she had “invented a Jesus to fulfill my own wishes,” she determined to read the Gospels as literature and to study Jesus as a character. What results is a vibrantly fresh and personal journey through the Gospels, as Gordon plumbs the mysteries surrounding one of history's most central figures.
In this impassioned and eye-opening book, Gordon takes us through all the fundamental stories—the Prodigal Son, the Temptation in the Desert, the parable of Lazarus, the Agony in the Garden—pondering the intense strangeness of a deity in human form, the unresolved more ambiguities, the problem posed to her as an enlightened reader by the miracle of the Resurrection. What she rediscovers—and reinterprets with her signature candor, intelligence, and straightforwardness—is a rich store of overlapping, sometimes conflicting teachings that feel both familiar and tantalizingly elusive.
It is this unsolvable conundrum that rests at the heart of Reading Jesus and with which Gordon keeps us in thrall on every page.
One of today's most admired writers takes readers on a fresh and personal journey through the Gospels, exploring the mysteries surrounding Jesus. What she reinterprets is a rich store of overlapping, sometimes conflicting teachings that feel both familiar and tantalizingly elusive.
Reading Jesus is a personal journey through the fundamental Biblical stories. As celebrated author Mary Gordon ponders the intense strangeness of a deity in human form, unresolved moralambiguities within the text, and the problem posed to her as an enlightened reader by the miracle of the Resurrection. What she rediscovers--and reinterprets with her signature candor, intelligence, andstraightforwardness--is a rich store of overlapping, sometimes conflicting teachings that feel both familiar and tantalizingly elusive.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
About the Author
\MARY GORDON is the author of six novels, including The Company of Women, Final Payments, and Spending; the memoirs The Shadow Man and Circling My Mother; and a collection of short stories. She is the recipient of a Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Writers’ Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship,and the 1997 O. Henry Award for best story. She teaches at Barnard College and lives in New York City.
Table of Contents
These fragments I have shored against my ruins. The running father, the starving son, the fatted calf, the husks, the unbearable question ; Swine ; The burning tongue, the barren womb ; Perfume, hair ; A dream of whiteness ; The dark garden ; The fig tree ; The temptation in the desert ; The writing on the ground ; The blessed — The problem of Jesus : reading through anger, confusion, disappointment, loss. The problem of miracles ; The problem of asceticism : do we want to live like this? ; The problem of perfection : could we live the way he says even if we wanted to? ; The problem of apocalypticism ; Contradiction, conundrum, paradox ; The tainted text : the problem of the Jews ; The problem of divinity ; Wrestling — The Seven Last Words and the last words.
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