No religious personality has captivated so many Americans for so long as Jesus. Indeed, as Boston University historian Prothero demonstrates in this sparkling and engrossing book, Jesus is the one religious figure nearly every American, whether Christian or not, past and present, has embraced. From Thomas Jefferson's cut-and-paste Bible to Jesus Christ Superstar, from the feminized Christ of the Victorians to the "manly redeemer" of Teddy Roosevelt's era, from Buddhist bodhisattva to Black Moses, Prothero surveys the myriad ways Americans have remade Jesus in their own image. He usefully divides these American Jesuses into "resurrections"-revivals of Jesus within mainstream Christianity-and "reincarnations"-appropriations of Jesus by outsiders. This scheme allows Prothero to range widely, and if he sometimes drifts from his primary focus, the digressions are fascinating in their own right. Nearly every page offers a fresh portrait of some corner of American religious history. A work of this breadth must depend heavily on other writers, but Prothero almost always has a judicious interpretation of his own to add-most of all, his contention that Jesus' enduring appeal confirms America's essentially Christian character even as it also demonstrates America's growing religious diversity
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
To the Puritans who settled the Colonies, Jesus was a marginal figure, and the Old Testament more important than the New. In the four centuries since, however, he has slipped the bonds of Christianity altogether to become icon and brand, as American as Mickey Mouse or the Coca-Cola bottle. This wide-ranging history traces a dual evolution: of American religion (not only Christianity but Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism) in terms of its relationship to Jesus; and of his multiform manifestations in response to changing cultural currents, from Thomas Jefferson's publication of a book of Jesus' life and sayings that excised all mention of the miracles and the resurrection to the Hindu Vedantists' veneration of "Christ the Yogi."
Copyright © 2005 The New Yorker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I try not to award 5 stars to books that didn't win any of the major literary awards, but _American Jesus_ deserves 5 or more. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Denny McBride (The Ceaseless Reader)
A very good history of Christianity in America plus the of of shoot ideas of Mormons, Jews and Buddist adaptaion to the Jesus culture.Published 6 months ago by William Henning
A great read about the story of religion in America, from it's inception to the current day. I think that this book will be interesting to
those of all faiths in America. Read more
This book is readable, fun, and fascinating. I background from the colonial period to the 20th century was mostly new to me, and I learned a lot. Read morePublished 14 months ago by semi-green in the suburbs
This is a unique approach to American religious history. It is painfully true to see we have made Jesus to fit our image, rather than trying to see Jesus as God's image.Published 18 months ago by Joyce Pace
This product was a good price and had an accurate description of the product. I needed it for my religion class.Published 18 months ago by Loveless
I completely reject Prothero's thesis. He chooses the most outrageous examples then tries to turn what are perhaps one individual's viewpoint or inspiration possibly built upon... Read morePublished 19 months ago by T. Cozby