My newest post, “Enough with Co-opting Jesus for Every Political Agenda,” is up at The Huffington Post. In it I take a look at the many appropriations people have made of Jesus, especially when it comes to politics. What does Jesus look like when we destroy our self-made images of him, particularly those based on our political agendas? Can we conceive of a Jesus figure that is not invested with meaning created by our imaginations? Would those who claim to follow him recognize him? Here it is:
For centuries, portraits of Jesus have provided not only a good look into the history of art, but also the chemistry produced when theology meets culture. Depictions of Jesus’ humanity pull from a cross-section of society, including every race, ethnicity, and culture, and a variety of ideological and theological positions.
From the God-Human Byzantine of the famous Christ Pantocrator to the American conservative of McNaughton’s “One Nation Under God,” Jesus is the most adaptive figure of all history. He is, for all intents and purposes, whatever and whomever you want him to be.
At least, that is what it feels like.
It is not surprising, then, that amid economic injustice, poverty, and rising class warfare that Jesus is regularly co-opted for a particular economic system or political agenda. From the worldviews of the Tea Party to the protests of Occupy Wall Street, Jesus becomes metamorphic. Read the full article, “Enough with Co-opting Jesus for Every Political Agenda,” at The Huffington Post.