The Quest for the Fictional Jesus. Margaret E. Ramey
For almost two millennia, Jesus' story has been retold in various forms and fashions, but in the last century a new way of reimagining the man from Galilee and rewriting the canonical Gospels has sprung up in the form of Jesus novels. While the novels themselves are as varied as their authors, this work aims at introducing readers to some common literary strategies and theological agendas found in this rewriting phenomenon by surveying a few prominent examples. It also explores the question of what happens when we examine the intertextual play between these Gospel rewrites and their Gospel progenitors as we allow these contemporary novels to pose new questions to their ancient counterparts. An intriguing hermeneutical circle ensues as we embark on our quest for the fictional Jesus and accompany his incarnations as they lead us back to reexamine the canonical portraits of Jesus anew.