Reading Jesus: A Writer's Encounter with the Gospels

Front Cover
Pantheon Books, 2009 - Religion - 205 pages
17 Reviews
In the introduction to this remarkable book, Mary Gordon is riding in a taxi as the driver listens to a religious broadcast, and she reflects that, though a lifelong Christian, she is at odds with many others who identify themselves as Christians. In an effort to understand whether or not she had “invented a Jesus to fulfill my own wishes,” she determined to read the Gospels as literature and to study Jesus as a character. What results is a vibrantly fresh and personal journey through the Gospels, as Gordon plumbs the mysteries surrounding one of history's most central figures.

In this impassioned and eye-opening book, Gordon takes us through all the fundamental stories—the Prodigal Son, the Temptation in the Desert, the parable of Lazarus, the Agony in the Garden—pondering the intense strangeness of a deity in human form, the unresolved more ambiguities, the problem posed to her as an enlightened reader by the miracle of the Resurrection. What she rediscovers—and reinterprets with her signature candor, intelligence, and straightforwardness—is a rich store of overlapping, sometimes conflicting teachings that feel both familiar and tantalizingly elusive.

It is this unsolvable conundrum that rests at the heart ofReading Jesusand with which Gordon keeps us in thrall on every page.

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Review: Reading Jesus: A Writer's Encounter with the Gospels

User Review  - Lora - Goodreads

Interesting take on how the writing in the Gospels works to tell a story. I'm not sure it works, to be honest, but it's a different way of looking at those four books of the Bible. Read full review

Review: Reading Jesus: A Writer's Encounter with the Gospels

User Review  - Kelly - Goodreads

I found Gordon's insights uninteresting and occasionally, offensive. While she seems to admire Jesus at times, she also calls him a tyrant, and a playground bully and says that his tears over the ... Read full review

About the author (2009)

\MARY GORDON is the author of six novels, including The Company of Women, Final Payments, and Spending; the memoirs The Shadow Man and Circling My Mother; and a collection of short stories. She is the recipient of a Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Writers’ Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship,and the 1997 O. Henry Award for best story. She teaches at Barnard College and lives in New York City.

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