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The Gospel According to Jesus Christ by…

The Gospel According to Jesus Christ (1991)

by José Saramago

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Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
An achingly beautiful book, recasting Christ as a tragic but human figure, with a god who belongs more to Greek religion to Christianity. ( )
  soylentgreen23 | Oct 25, 2016 |
Beyond its original gimmick as the reimagined life of a very human Jesus written primarily in jest and provocation, the novel is a good refresher course in biblical events - albeit with a realistic twist, God permitting - but also discusses the influences of power, the way it acts on the people wielding the power and the people under the control of such a power - Wretched are we who not only practise the evil which is ours by nature, but who must also serve as an instrument of evil for those who abuse their power. -, but particularly, the way religion enforces itself, In other words, your God is the only warden of a prison where the only captive is your God. I also enjoyed a little note on language, about how Mary, mother of Jesus, is not moral nor upright, but only because the language itself did not permit a feminine form. Other than that, there were some oddly fanatical feet washing, Jesus trying to impress Mary Magdalene about how less of a mother's boy he is, a very nice first chapter lesson on biblical art history, and occasional incongruous interruptions from the narrator with anachronisms from our modern world.

Overall, it's a simple premise, elevated by the author's idiosyncratic prose and dissection of power dynamics. The title itself should be obvious to potential readers: don't read it if you know you're going to be outrageously offended. ( )
  kitzyl | Apr 29, 2016 |
This book presented the life story of Jesus in a very unconventional way. The style of writing, like that in another of Saramago's novels, Blindness, is at times very difficult to follow. It consists of very long paragraphs with little punctuation and no quotation marks. It is also a somewhat rambling stream of consciousness style.
With that said, I still liked the book, or maybe I should say that I was fascinated by the narration. Jesus is human, very human. In fact, I am not sure that he ever completely understood or accepted his divinity. He "knew" that he was divine, but I do not think that he comprehended what that really meant. There were some very interesting twists on the Scripture stories that we all know so well. One example, without giving too much away - Joseph experienced extreme and long-lasting guilt after he saved his own family but did not warn others that Herod was going to kill all the baby boys. The novel presents many Scriptural stories from a very different perspective. This probably should be a 3.5 instead of a 3. ( )
  TheresaCIncinnati | Aug 17, 2015 |
José Saramago is an atheist, but his version of the story of Joseph, Mary and Jesus is written with compassion and respect for the historic characters. This is not as blasphemous as it might apprear. I don't know what to make of everything I read, though. It is a fascinating tale of Jesus' birth and early upbringing, half realistic half mythical, but with a believable realism at heart. Joseph's dilemma of whether to save his son or save all little boys in Bethlehem is among the most potent parts of the novel, pondering if sin, guilt and shame can be inherited. Mary is not much of a goddess in Saramago's version, but nevertheless a believable character, as is Mary Magdalene, who is Jesus' lover and most loyal companion. Jesus' rebellion against the Jewish God and Devil is weird, but also where it gets most interesting. The conversation between God, Satan and Jesus out on the Genesaret sea, gives a chilling description of everything that later happens in the name of religion, particularly the Christian religion, but also Islam, an important reminder for contemporary readers of how religion has stolen so many lives and created so much misery, so many wars, and is still the main reason why this world is being torn apart even today. I believe Saramaga's fascination with the setting and the story, is because this is where it all started, the nucleus of the troubles. In a kind of contrafactual way he at leas indicates what could have been avoided. For me, The Gospel According to Jesus Christ, is Saramago's most complicated book, still very readable. ( )
  petterw | Jul 7, 2015 |
Uma visão isenta sobre a vida do homem Jesus, baseada nos relatos bíblicos.

José Saramago apresenta um Jesus mais humano, passível de erros, culpas e conflitos interiores. Continua sendo o iluminado, o fazedor de milagres mas hesita e até questiona suas próprias capacidades e os motivos pelos quais as tem. As principais passagens bíblicas referentes a Jesus são retratadas aqui, mas sem a aura de exaltação e deslumbramento comuns de textos religiosos.

Alguns personagens do livro e suas características: José, pai de Jesus, carrega por toda a sua vida a culpa por ter salvo apenas o seu filho no dia em que todos os primogênitos foram assassinados brutalmente. Madalena é a companheira de Jesus, fiel até o momento em que percebem que não é possível viver de milagres. Jesus, um homem inteligente e bondoso, , aceita resignado a volta de Madalena a sua profissão e aguenta as humilhações sofridas devido a sua vida pouco ortodoxa. Um excelente livro que não tem a pretensão de fazer alguém perder sua fé, mas a de mostrar como teria sido a vida deste homem extraordinário de um ponto de vista humano e não divino. ( )
  Binderman | Aug 16, 2014 |
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Saramago, Joséprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lemmens, HarrieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0156001411, Paperback)

A wry, fictional account of the life of Christ by Nobel laureate José Saramago


A brilliant skeptic, José Saramago envisions the life of Jesus Christ and the story of his Passion as things of this earth: A child crying, the caress of a woman half asleep, the bleat of a goat, a prayer uttered in the grayish morning light. His idea of the Holy Family reflects the real complexities of any family, and—as only Saramago can—he imagines them with tinges of vision, dream, and omen. The result is a deft psychological portrait that moves between poetry and irony, spirituality and irreverence of a savior who is at once the Son of God and a young man. In this provocative, tender novel, the subject of wide critical discussion and wonder, Saramago questions the meaning of God, the foundations of the Church, and human existence itself.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:14 -0400)

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Fictional life of Jesus mixes magic, myth and reality.

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