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 of Reading Jesus.