The author of The Last Station brings a life’s worth of contemplation on Jesus to the first volume in ICONS, a series of short, thought-provoking biographies edited by James Atlas.
Jay Parini’s Jesus brings the powerful narrative skills of an award-winning novelist to a figure who for over twenty centuries has changed lives in a deep way.
The main trend of modern theology has centered on the notion of “demythologizing Jesus,” first presented by Rudolf Bultmann in 1941. Parini’s book seeks to re-mythologize him. Parini considers the story in all its mythical radiance, taking Jesus as the human face of God. He keeps in mind one question at every turn: What’s so moving about this story that millions of people over two millennia have considered it a paradigm for living?
Far from dogmatic, Jesus takes into account the multiple ways that its subject has been viewed and draws them into a coherent narrative, dramatizing the transformation from Jesus to Christ, from man to myth, from obscure Jewish carpenter to someone who pointed a finger toward God and said with conviction: This is the way. Follow me.