Bringing the Text to Life

Jesus of the Gaps Luke 2:22-40

Jesus of the Gaps

Imagination can be a spiritual pathway.

At a Glance

Have you noticed the spate of novels lately about Jesus? We have, and so we start with this cultural curiosity and then move to a reflection on how we use imagination to fill in how we suppose Jesus might act and live today.

Editors' Pick

For material based on today's epistle text, see "Putting on Heirs," January 1, 2012, at

"Jesus is having a moment in literary fiction."

That's what Paula Cocozza, a feature writer for the British newspaper The Guardian said last year. She was commenting on the number of recent novels about Jesus. And, don't assume the authors are Christians. Philip Pullman, Colm Tóibín and Richard Beard are nonbelievers all. Naomi Alderman is Jewish. And J.M. Coetzee is described by some as a post-secularist, which seems to mean he's hard to define in terms of faith.

The books by these writers come on the heels of a couple by Anne Rice, the author of popular vampire stories who was a late-life convert into, and then back out...

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