From Publishers Weekly
Ever since A Palpable God was published 25 years ago, novelist Price has been reimagining biblical stories and bringing them to new life in our time. With graceful, lyrical prose and a masterfully probing imagination, Price turns his eye here to the ethics of Jesus. What captures Price's attention most are those ethical questions that modern society confronts daily but that Jesus never addresses. Thus, in three brilliant and moving apocryphal gospel stories, Price's Jesus engages in conversations about homosexuality, suicide and the plight of women in male-dominated societies. Since Jesus did not talk at all about either homosexuality or suicide during his life, Price imagines the resurrected Jesus discussing these issues with a disciple in whose life they may have figured largely-Judas. When the risen Jesus appears to Judas in a cave where Judas is hiding and contemplating suicide, Judas declares that he loved Jesus completely from the first day. Jesus replies that Judas's erotic love for him must be transformed into a love for everything equally. In the apocryphal story on suicide, Judas encounters the risen Jesus as Judas is trying to hang himself. Unable to tie the rope properly and hoist himself, Judas asks Jesus to help him, if he pardons Judas, and Jesus does so. Elegant and passionate, Price's provocative parables provide no simple answers to the saccharine question "What would Jesus do?" Rather, they compel us to imagine creatively our engagements with Jesus' teachings and the impact of those teachings on our lives.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Novelist and self-described "outlaw Christian" Price takes on the highly controversial topic of Jesus' ethics in a small but mighty volume. Taking a cue from the "What would Jesus do?" trend of the 1990s, he actively wonders what Jesus might have done if confronted with such issues as homosexuality, suicide, and the obstacles women face in a male-dominated culture. He points out that while we often perceive those as modern problems, there is nothing new under the sun. Jesus quite likely confronted them, but there is scant intelligence in the biblical record to confirm that he did. In the manner of an analytical biographer, Price painstakingly deconstructs what little Gospel documentation there is and places Jesus in three fictional scenarios. As if his task weren't complicated enough, he also differentiates between Jesus' ethics as a young man, as a mature spiritual leader, and finally as the risen Lord. The results of his work are certain to provoke debate. They are also well-written fictionalized speculations--lucid, intelligent, never self-serving. Donna ChavezCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved