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Anne Rice's Book About Jesus


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I know that I started another thread about this book just before it came out, but I could not for the life of me find it in the past listings.

 

Anyway this article that appears in today's Los Angeles Times expands upon Rice's life experiences and her arrival at what seems to me to be a progressive viewpoint. It is clear that her latest bestseller about the early boyhood of Jesus in Egypt grew out of that journey, and I thought it would be beneficial for us to read the article.

 

No, I haven't bought and read the book yet, but someday. Maybe someone should invite her to the board. Now wouldn't that be interesting?

 

http://www.latimes.com/features/lifestyle/...2987,full.story?

 

flow.... :D

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I have my name on a list at the local library to hold me a copy when they finally get them in. I'm psyched. The book is getting pretty good reviews.

 

Over at theologyweb there was a discussion about the book, and I was suprised at how nicely the posters there (overall pretty conservative) were in discussing Anne and the new book. Apparently a few of them emailed her, and reported that she responded within the day, personally, and that she was very nice. (I've always gotten that impression from her interviews though.)

 

The overall concensus is that she's done her homework. I heard rumor that she's become a "partial preterist" based on her research.

 

The first five books of the Vampire Chronicles are my favorite of her work so far. I liked the first Mayfaire Witches book, but didn't care for the last two. :( I'm in the minority in that I really liked Memnoch the Devil (the fifth VC book). I thought the theological and metaphysical questions brought up by the book were intriguing.

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I have my name on a list at the local library to hold me a copy when they finally get them in. I'm psyched. The book is getting pretty good reviews.

 

Though if it's like the library around here (or in Chicago) you might forget you even asked for the book by the time you get it.

 

 

--des

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It took us about 2 weeks on the library list - just got it and started it yesterday. So far pretty good. James is Jesus' elder brother - Joesph's from a previous marriage. Joesph and Mary never have lain together because of the overwhelming nature of her previous liason :) . It starts with Jesus at 7 - and as they leave Egypt - he begins to learn about his nature although his family has kept it from him believing he needs to be a little boy first. Pretty neat actually!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Somebody over at Theologyweb made a comment to that effect. It's ironic and yet not, because all of Rice's books have had spiritual overtones with good and evil as major themes. The character most obsessed with God in all of her books is Lestat, followed closely (imo) by Armand.

 

The movies didn't portray the Vampire Chronicles accurately at all. :angry: I was especially irked that the role of Armand was played by Antonio Banderas. Armand's character, in the books, is a 19 year old, red haired boy.

Edited by AletheiaRivers
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  • 3 months later...

Hi all,

It took only two weeks for my library to find a copy. Up here in Vancouver, Canada... I guess there weren't many who wanted to read it OR I waited until the rush had died down.

 

Now, to start with I should explain that I am a fan of Anne's vampire chronicles, but my least favourite character is Lestat. I like Louis and... not Armand... one of the old guys featured in "Blood and Gold".

 

But anyway, I picked up CHRIST THE LORD expecting something out of this world, considering the topic, but it was quite ordinary as books go. If it wasn't for the topic, I would never have finished it. When it ended, I wondered if there would be more because the first instalment never really felt like it got going.

 

I don't know Ms. Rice as a person, but she could have decided to play it safe with the characters. Alternately, she may have focused on historical accuracy rather than vibrant characters. Another possibility is that I just didn't appreciate the novel, because I know it was carefully crafted.

 

So, I didn't HATE the book, and I don't think many would. I just didn't love it as much as I wanted to.

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BTW, the science of the Bible series on National Geographic that I like so well, had a whole episode on Jesus' years before his memorable "Baptism" (not what they would have called a baptism of course). Anyway, one really interesting thing. THe word carpenter is a mistranslation. Joseph (and later Jesus) were not carpenters but "hand workers" basically doing any kind of hard work with the hands (building, stone work, some agriculture, etc.) Implied working for someone else, being a peasant. That's interesting to me as recent reworking of Jesus' life have him as a fairly high class guy, pretty much not so. He was likely in the very lowest of social levels, basically above lepers, etc.

 

BTW, I saw something this weekend on a book on a leper colony in Hawaii. Leper wasn't necesarily Hansens' disease, but any malady or none at all, some just were outcasts in biblical times.

 

I think I should look for this book.

 

 

--des

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  • 4 weeks later...

Read it. Loved it.

 

I'm not a Rice vampire fan, but I loved Cry to Heaven. This was very different, but in some ways not. The language is simple and childlike (in a prodigious Son of God sort of way!) probably to match the first-person narrative of little Jeshua himself. Other than some scenes of graphic violence, it is a book that could be appreciated and comprehended by older children (my eight-year-old daughter will probably read or listen to it). In these respects it's a far cry from Cry to Heaven.

 

However, the same meticulous (even obsessive) attention to historical detail is present, although it is not overbearing. It is seamlessly woven into the narrative into a remarkably cohesive story, especially considering its diverse sources (and yes, to be sure, there is not an event, character, or description in this novel that does not seem to have a carefully researched source).

 

It is also, like Cry to Heaven, full of emotion. The 7-8-year-old Jesus is both a child and a budding Christ and experiences his life in terms of powerful (even overwhelming) emotions and revelations. Don't let the simple narrative style fool you into thinking this is a simple, emotionally tame story.

 

For me, this book was a truly unique experience the way Jesus Christ Superstar was for me in that it brings Jesus to us in flesh and blood (minus funky 70's rock riffs). However, it is truly unique in the level of intimacy it creates between the reader and the character of Jesus.

 

If you're expecting a liberal or strictly historical approach to Christ and Divinity, however, you may be disappointed. Rice tells in her Author's Note of her journey from atheism back to Catholicism and Christian belief (worth reading). She fully asserts the unique divinity of Christ complete with virgin birth, heavenly hosts, healings, and other miraculous events. You will, however, enjoy Rice's focus on the Jewishness of Jesus. He is both every Rabbi's dream (and nightmare, given the much publicized nature of his birth).

 

Ok, I'm gushing...enough. I'm with Aletheia....can't wait for the next installment!

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However, it is truly unique in the level of intimacy it creates between the reader and the character of Jesus.

 

Yeah, that.

 

I truly appreciated her mentioning Luke Timothy Johnson in her author's notes. He is a Catholic theologian that has written books about how the search for the historical Jesus misses the point. His approach to scripture is as "literature" and as "theology" rather than as history. It's a truly Catholic approach that I really appreciate.

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  • 2 weeks later...
BTW, the science of the Bible series on National Geographic that I like so well, had a whole episode on Jesus' years before his memorable "Baptism" (not what they would have called a baptism of course). Anyway, one really interesting thing. THe word carpenter is a mistranslation. Joseph (and later Jesus) were not carpenters but "hand workers" basically doing any kind of hard work with the hands (building, stone work, some agriculture, etc.) Implied working for someone else, being a peasant. That's interesting to me as recent reworking of Jesus' life have him as a fairly high class guy, pretty much not so. He was likely in the very lowest of social levels, basically above lepers, etc.

 

BTW, I saw something this weekend on a book on a leper colony in Hawaii. Leper wasn't necesarily Hansens' disease, but any malady or none at all, some just were outcasts in biblical times.

 

I think I should look for this book.

 

 

--des

 

I understand that "tekton" translates "artisan," or skilled worker. He could have been a mason, for example.

Edited by Jeannot
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"I understand that "tekton" translates "artisan," or skilled worker. He could have been a mason, for example."

 

 

No!  He's either a carpenter or the Bible is just one big lie!  ;)

 

There's a line in Flannery O'Connor. She's describing a city boy brought up atheist, who falls into the charge of a country Evangelical. After a session with her, the boy learns "that he had been made by a carpenter named Jesus."

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  • 2 months later...

Well I just started reading it. I'm not sure if I like it a lot or think it is a bit contentious.

She is definitely trying to write in a child's voice. Sometimes it works and other times, well it just

doesnt' sound child-like enough. I don't care if it's the Son of God-- I think he would have gone thru a truly child experience. But I do appreciate the difficulty of the task. I am guessing the problem is portraying "religious prodigy". YIKES.

 

OTOH, the portrayal of life in the first century is absorbing. I don't think I buy the whole idea that all the apostles were known to Jesus in childhood, if that is supposed to be the same "little Judas".

 

BTW, she believes that the Bible was pretty much written close to the period Jesus lives in. I think the scholarship pretty much refutes that idea, I'm sure you could find some pseudo-scholar somewhere to say otherwise.

 

I wonder with a subtitle of "out of Egypt" a sequel is in the works. Nothing is known of Jesus as a young man, so that would seem to be a possible book.

 

--des

Edited by des
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