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The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ

by Philip Pullman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Myths (16)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,512888,290 (3.34)78
In this ingenious, spellbinding and fiercely subversive retelling of the life of Jesus, Philip Pullman reimagines the most influential story ever told. He offers a radical new take on the myths and the mysteries of the Gospel truth and the resulting church that has so shaped the course of the last two millennia.… (more)
  1. 00
    The Last Testament by Sam Bourne (tesskrose)
  2. 00
    The Liars' Gospel: A Novel by Naomi Alderman (WoodsieGirl)
  3. 00
    Jezebel by Eleanor De Jong (tesskrose)
  4. 00
    Delilah by Eleanor De Jong (tesskrose)
  5. 00
    My Name Was Judas by C. K. Stead (Voise15)
    Voise15: Humanising of the Gospel stories through the eyes of Judas
  6. 01
    According to Mary Magdalene by Marianne Fredriksson (PatMock)
    PatMock: Retelling of gospel stories from viewpoint of Mary Magdalene
  7. 01
    Joshua: A Parable for Today by Joseph F. Girzone (nigelmcbain)
    nigelmcbain: Both of these works re-use the material of the Gospel narratives to refocus on what the essential message of Yeshua bar Yussif's message was.
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» See also 78 mentions

English (85)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (88)
Showing 1-5 of 85 (next | show all)
Very pleased to be able to read something by Pullman that is good after putting down the third volume of Northern Lights way before the end.

The subject matter, the treatment and the title were all likely to put me off, but S-L highly recommended it and Manny read it in a sitting - despite the scintillating option of chatting to the knitters. That sold me. ( )
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
Very pleased to be able to read something by Pullman that is good after putting down the third volume of Northern Lights way before the end.

The subject matter, the treatment and the title were all likely to put me off, but S-L highly recommended it and Manny read it in a sitting - despite the scintillating option of chatting to the knitters. That sold me. ( )
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
Very pleased to be able to read something by Pullman that is good after putting down the third volume of Northern Lights way before the end.

The subject matter, the treatment and the title were all likely to put me off, but S-L highly recommended it and Manny read it in a sitting - despite the scintillating option of chatting to the knitters. That sold me. ( )
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
For his Canongate assignment to rewrite a myth, atheist Phillip Pullman takes on the Christian story. In his version, Mary gave birth to twins--Jesus and Christ. Christ (through whose eyes the story unfolds) is a weakly, philosophical sort, while Jesus is active, robust. When they meet John the Baptist, Jesus takes on his mission, and Christ becomes acolyte/betrayer, with the urging of a "mysterious stranger" who seems tp be guiding things. The resurrection is explained by a simple impersonation on the part of Christ, after Jesus' death (I didn't figure this out until late in the story, which either means I'm dense or Pullman's a masterful writer.) Despite the title, Christ is tormented, yes, but not a scoundrel. After the main events unfold, Christ decides to write his brother's story, but "improve upon it a little" so as to solidify the church around his brother's memory. Pullman has been called "a religious agnostic," and here's the proof. ( )
  deckla | Jan 4, 2020 |
I have been digging into Daemon Voices, a collection of Philip Pullman’s essays on storytelling. In the essay on The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ, he suggests that, while he usually doesn’t explain his books, this particular book requires some background. Written for a series called Myths, Pullman creates his own version of the story of Jesus by imagining that twins were born on that fateful night. He stuck close to the Gospels but took each event and gave it a little twist. And, in the end, he believes that “the imaginary figure of Christ was of much greater use to the church than the historical person of Jesus.” The religion that grew around the historical personage is of human construction.

I feel like this is a book that should be read like the scripture. One chapter at a time with reflection about how Pullman re-interprets that familiar story.

Worth a read and I can also recommend the essays. I had checked the book of essays out from the library but knew I needed to own a copy. His prose is just thick and wonderful and I want to be able to reread at leisure and browse without feeling like I have to finish it at a pre-determined time. ( )
  witchyrichy | Jan 4, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 85 (next | show all)
Det är skickligt, fast stundtals undrar jag varför jag ska läsa Pullman och inte originalet. Byta ut de övernaturliga passagerna mot rationalistiska kan jag göra själv. Men låt oss stanna vid det som är specifikt för Pullmans version.
 
"The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ" was commissioned by its publisher, Canongate, as part of a series in which the world's great myths "are retold in a contemporary and memorable way." This one comes up decidedly short of the mark.
 
A very bold and deliberately outrageous fable, then, rehearsing Pullman's familiar and passionate fury at corrupt religious systems of control – but also introducing something quite different, a voice of genuine spiritual authority. Because that is what Pullman's Jesus undoubtedly is.
 
I said earlier that Pullman was a Protestant atheist. Even so, he may well have been annoyed at the welcome given to his book by the clerical establishment in the person of the archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Rowan Williams, who has described the “Jesus” character as “a voice of genuine spiritual authority” and the book itself as “mostly Pullman at his very impressive best, limpid and economical.”

........

this latest attempt to secularize Messianism is a disappointment to those of us who can never forgive the emperor Constantine, not just for making Christianity a state dogma, but for making humanity hostage to the boring village quarrels and Bronze Age fables that were drawn from what remains the world’s most benighted region.
 
Which brings us to Pullman's new work, The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ, which is, to put it mildly, a very strange book. Superficially a novel, it is Pullman's attempt to graft his belief system onto the life of Jesus, to mutate Christianity into a kind of Pullmanism. Give Pullman high marks for moxie: How many writers would dare to try to rewrite—no, to repair—the most famous, most sacred story ever written?
 

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Pullman, Philipprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Svendsen, WernerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zöfel, AdelheidÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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This is the story of Jesus and his brother Christ, of how they were born, of how they lived and of how one of them died.
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Jesus praying: "Lord, if I thought you were listening, I'd pray for this above all: that any church set up in your name should remain poor, and powerless, and modest. That it should wield no authority except that of love. That it should never cast anyone out. That it should own no property and make no laws. That it should not condemn but only forgive..." p. 199.
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Book description
A reworking of the Gospel narratives describing the birth of twins, one called Jesus and the other nicknamed Christ and how Christ ultimately betrays Jesus in an attempt to preserve his essential message.
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Average: (3.34)
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Canongate Books

4 editions of this book were published by Canongate Books.

Editions: 1847678254, 1847678270, 1847680186, 0857860070

Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 1921656190, 1921758090

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