Original Research

The fictional transfiguration of Jesus: Images of Jesus in literature

C. W. du Toit
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 53, No 3 | a1703 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v53i3.1703 | © 1997 C. W. du Toit | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 December 1997 | Published: 14 December 1997

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C. W. du Toit, Institute for Theology and Religion University of South-Arica, South Africa

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Abstract

Over the years the literary world has been one of the most productive and creative sources of Jesus interpretation. This article gives an overview of som aspects of developments in this filed with reference to the African and Afriko.net contexts. The way in which Jesus is fictionally transformed may reflect the influence of scholarly research, popular and innovative Jesus interpretations, existential questions, and cultural fluctuations, or simply a celebration of imagination. The relationship between theology and literature is vital to both fields. Theology is challenged by the freedom of the novel and the novel stimulated by theological findings. After dealing with some categories of fictional narratives, a Jew examples are discussed. The article gives attention to Jesus in post-modem novels and in postcolonial literature. An African novel is referred to and then Jesus is dealt with more extensively in Afrikaans poems. Examples are given from the work of SheilaCussons, Breyten Breytenbach and Adam Small. The article closes with the sentiment that Jesus interpretations  remain a critical and creative comment on humankind and its religion.

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