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The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ

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Sam1 Donating Member (136 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 04:25 PM
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The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ
This is the latest book by Philip Pullman, who wrote The Golden Compass. Has anyone read it or started it and what are your comments? I am about half way through it and find it very interesting.
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eyeofdelphi Donating Member (110 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 05:15 PM
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1. i'm waiting for it
i requested my library to order a copy and they actually did. just waiting for it to get out of cataloging. so is it good so far?
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Lilith Velkor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 05:40 PM
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2. Scoundrel?
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vixengrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 08:39 PM
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3. I posted a brief review 2 months ago--

This is a very simple story with parts that should be very familiar to people who were raised in the Christian tradition, but there is a very meaningful twist that highlights the duality of the story of the hero of The New Testament; Philip Pullman tackles that duality by envisioning the character we've come to know as Jesus Christ, as twins. We have the straight-forward but sometimes impulsive man, Jesus, and his weaker, but somewhat more complicated brother, Christ.

For those familiar with the story of the Son of God, or the Son of Man, we are prepared for the idea of duality. The man Jesus was born of Mary, and was the son of a carpenter. He lived among fishermen in Galilee. He preached a reform version of the Book of the Law, and was kind to even tax collectors, prostitutes, and foreigners. But there is also the other story, laid over the human life-story of our supposed hero--the myth that became "Jesus Christ". A Messiah? A deity in human form? A miracle worker? An improbable mythical "Logos" who preceded time and would rule in the hereafter?

What Pullman subtly does in this simply but persuasively written biblically-inspired fable, is suggest how such myths might come to be, inspired in part by both good intentions, and even bad ones. He presents a likable enough Jesus, who often does say very good things, but also shows how his words are used against him and how they could be used to create a church that is oppressive and corrupt.

I like Pullman's tale a good deal, and find especially touching what I think of as "the Atheist Sermon" Jesus delivers when he is quite alone near the end. I would not doubt that religious people might find this work a bit subversive, but that is all the more reason why it's a good read--it makes one think, and it aligns with the things that I found were actually useful in the faith of my fathers, even if I didn't keep that faith, myself. I recommend it.
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