DOC ¿ READER The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ ✓Ë PHILIP PULLMAN

TEXT ✓ The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ Ô Philip Pullman

The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel ChristCharged with mystery compassion and enormous power The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ throws fresh light on who Jesus was and asks th An interesting premise which was badly executedThose who have studied the persona of Jesus Christ will be puzzled at an apparent contradiction Jesus was a rebel he revolted against the priestly dictatorship of Judaism made a mockery of its bureaucratic institutions and changed its concept of a vengeful and angry God into a benevolent one Jesus was reforming Judaism in a way which threatened to change its very structure when he was betrayed by his own people and killed by the Roman authoritiesBy all means the story should have ended there but Jesus rose from the dead as Christ the Messiah and created a whole new religion in his name The man who had preached the Kingdom of God for everyone became the symbol of the new faith a semi godly being to be worshipped The new religion soon overtook Judaism in its love of institutions and its rigid definition of faithPhilip Pullman explains this apparent contradiction by splitting Jesus Christ into twins Jesus the good man but a rebel and a constant pain in the arse to the religious authorities; and Christ who loves his brother and believes in what he is saying but who is of a conformist and sees the need for religious institutions and organisation Christ follows Jesus about recording his sayings for posterity but providing subtle twists of his own in this enterprise he is guided by a stranger whom Christ thinks is an angel but the reader gets the feeling that it is a certain gentleman with horns and a forked tail After Jesus's death it is Christ and the persona of Jesus which he has built up which resurrects I love retellings of myths Myths are essentially poetic renderings of man's search for meaning in life and when the writer reinterprets them they take on wonderful new shapes As Joseph Campbell said it is the artist and the writer who are the modern day euivalents of the myth makers of yoreFrom this point of view Pullman had a winner here he had the chance to dig into the complex personality of Christ and bring forth the apparent inconsistencies through the interactions between the twins as well as their interactions with the world in general The concept of doubles is a strong trope in literature and the author could have drawn on the depth of literary associations as well as mythical ones of this motif to produce a really complex narrativeInstead he takes the easy way out The story is nothing but a simplistic retelling of the New Testament with the character of the twin brother added It reads like a story with adult themes written for children There is no philosophical discussion no metaphorical exploration and no mythical analysis except of a very facile nature

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DOC The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ

DOC ¿ READER The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ ✓ Ë PHILIP PULLMAN Ë [PDF / Epub] ✅ The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ Author Philip Pullman – Dogsalonbristol.co.uk This is a story In this ingenious and spell binding retelling of the life of Jesus PE reader uestions that will continue to resonate long after the final page is turned For above all this book is about how stories become storie THE GOOD MAN PAUL AND THE SCOUNDREL BRYANT A CONVERSATIONSo another one of your beloved pop theology books hey?This time a novelMore of a fableAn ironical retellingYes but to what purpose? Let’s cut to the chase here leaving out the dubious legerdemain of having Christ be Jesus’ evil twin – sorry “conflicted” twin Mr Pullman suggests that Jesus was a crazy idealist that his extreme ideas about the Kingdom of God which he thought would arrive in the next week or so and his frankly bizarre moral code was of a hindrance than a help He’s got a point PP’s Jesus is a raving hippy asking people to ditch their families like he’s ditched his own and go off to love the wretched and cure people of their psychosomatic ailments and love the ittle bunnies Mm well the New Testament’s Jesus is not a million miles away you knowOh scoundrelBut it has a whole lot of gravitas which PP’s can’t have It’s all a bit trendy vicar all this modern slangy retelling of parables and miracles You know I think the New Testament will still be read when Philip Pullman is completely forgottenSo then he has Jesus despairing in Gethsemane He has a real long rant about God being so silent and inscrutable that he may as well not exist He says This is all I can do now whisper into the silence How much longer will I even feel like doing that? You’re not there You’ve never heard me I’d do better to talk to a treeYes It’s uite flat Compare that with King James’ devastating glimpse of Jesus on the cross Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice saying Eli Eli lama sabachthani? that is to say My God my God why hast thou forsaken me?To this day that gives me chills And for them to put that in the actual Bible it's amazingWell but you probably shouldn’t make such comparisons It’s unfair No But PP kind of makes you want to He’s using the same dark materials Yes very good So anyway the gist of the thing is that there are behind the scenes manipulators observing Jesus and when he gets executed they perpetrate this giant hoaxA pious fraud Yes exactly The idea is that no one – eventually not even Jesus could live up to Jesus’ new morality you’d have to be insane BUT what was possible was to create a new religion based sort of loosely on Jesus which could be a force for moderate improvement rather than the terminal over the edge Kingdom of God is upon you stuff So rather as if the Church was the grown up version The gradualists take over from the nutcases The parliamentary road to socialism displaces revolutionary communism I get it PP doesn’t say it was a bad thing either The pious fraud of the resurrection was done in order to kick start the enterprise like a bank loan Without that Jesus would just have been another ranting Jewish wannabe Messiah But the people love magic Exactly And what’s magic than the dead rising? Oh wait – I have to tell you this one I heard an interview with a movie director one of those indie guys and he was making a movie based on the idea of Jesus as the first zombie The interviewer said – but he wasn’t the first was he And the director said yes he rose from the dead see like a zombie He was the first zombie And the interviewer said “But what about Lazarus?” And there was a silence Finally the director said slowly “So Jesus was the second zombie”Ha people really are rather impertinent these daysIt's true Another glass of burgundy?Just a little one then Verry verry small tiny little one

Philip Pullman Ô The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ READER

This is a story In this ingenious and spell binding retelling of the life of Jesus Philip Pullman revisits the most influential story ever told Come Back Alfred We Love YouIn 1904 the French Catholic theologian Alfred Loisy published a book called L'Evangile et l'Eglise The Gospel and the Church In it he pithily phrases the central fact of early Christianity Jesus foretold the Kingdom but it was the Church that came Loisy was attempting to refute the individualism of the Protestant theologian Adolf Harnack by pointing to the historical necessity of an ecclesial organisation For his trouble he was censured and eventually excommunicated from the Catholic Church for the arch heresy of Modernism No one was sure how to define Modernism but the churchly authorities were certain they knew it when they saw it in the writings of LoisyIt is now generally recognised that Loisy was correct Jesus expected the arrival of the Kingdom of God within his generation And not only Jesus Throughout the next two Christian generations at least it was presumed that the end was nigh that the Messiah would return with a terrible swift sword The protagonist of this 'imminent eschatology' as it is called was Paul of Tarsus It is Paul's letters that are by years often decades the first Christian Scriptures and undoubtedly influenced how the later gospels were writtenNonetheless the 'tension' as theologians call it between the Pauline Christ and the Jesus of the gospels is real This is most apparent in two specific areas First in the universal ethic of love propounded by Jesus not just among human beings but also between God who was all forgiving and humanity In Paul this ethic is made conditional upon something called pistis faith and becomes organisationally controlled by his authority Second Jesus makes clear his sole concern is with Judaism and the continuation of the traditions of the Torah In opposition to the Apostles who actually knew Jesus Paul claims Jesus's message as eually applicable to Gentiles as well as to the Jews; and he uite contrary to the words of Jesus unilaterally abrogates the eternal covenant with the Jews and any necessity to follow Jewish traditionsAlthough Paul's expectations of the return of the Messiah were unfounded he did a fairly good job of creating the organisation that would be its substitute just as Loisy had uipped Paul not Jesus it has often been said among theologians created Christianity And he created it not as the carrier of the ethical message of Jesus but as the emblem of the triumphant Christ who despite sensory experience to the contrary had already conuered evil in the world freed the world from sin and now led from the grave a new worldwide religion whose spokesman was PaulPullman's book captures this difference between the evangelical Jesus and the ecclesial Christ by the simple device of Mary wife of Joseph having twins one called Jesus the other Christ Jesus is or less the figure we know from the gospels human uncertain complex sometimes contradictory but always on message Christ the younger brother and favourite of his mother on the other hand plays several roles in Pullman's narrative Christ is first of all the recorder and progressively the augmenter of Jesus's preaching a sort of composite evangelist He also is the betrayer the Judas figure who is convinced by the mysterious Stranger obviously the Deceiver of old to play Abraham to Jesus's Isaac and instigate Jesus's death And finally he is the Pauline figure the spiritual entrepreneur who establishes a Gentile oriented organisation which is in his mind a version of the Kingdom on earth His modifications and interpretations of Jesus's remarks and mis uoting of the Hebrew bible a Pauline vice conveniently endorse and support this organisationPullman's theology therefore is well grounded even if his literary portrayal seems radical The points he makes in casting Jesus as confronting Christ are important ones that true believers would prefer not to be raised or discussed It's a matter of faith they typically say But their faith is a faith in Paul and his literary hero Christ What they really mean is that they do not have sufficient faith in Jesus to confront the very real inconsistencies not to say paradoxes in the creation of Christianity The possibility that Paul betrayed the man he never met and sacrificed him to establish his own position of power is too unsettling to be taken seriouslyPullman isn't having it By making such a dramatic distinction between the Jesus of the gospels and the Christ of Pauline Christianity he is putting down a challenge suarely to those who call themselves Christians No longer thank goodness does the threat of excommunication which hung over Loisy mean much a century later It’s safe now Alfred; you can come backPostscript first on Paul see and