Very long ago I decided to start a series here I was calling the “Alternative History of Jesus,” and then I stopped after two. There were two reasons for this. First, I have been really busy. Second, I thought that the series would actually make a decent book – which would also give me the chance to preface the observations with some much needed methodological stuff.
The Cascade imprint of Wipf and Stock has recently agreed, and the book will be submitted in 2014.
The book will start with an exploration of unexpected representations of Jesus in early Christian literature and art, attempting to define some of the theological impulses that motivated such innovative Christological moments. The rest of the book really takes its cue from this periodic tendency in early Christianity to communicate complex sets of social and theological ideas through unexpected, yet ultimately fitting versions of Jesus.
There are chapters on: Chagall, Howard Finster and Ken Myers, Dave LaChapelle and contemporary art, Robert Bresson, Gus Van Sant and Kurt Cobain, Stan Brakhage and the avant garde, Civil and Gender Rights imagery, etc…
It is an ambitious and odd book, but I look forward to putting this conversation out there.