Skip to comments.Controversial Book 'The Way' Imagines Jesus as a Woman
Posted on 09/08/2011 3:08:08 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
Jesus Christ is considered the most important and central figure in all of history for many. Yet in her debut novel, Kristen Wolf turns the biblical portrayal of the Messiah on its head by portraying Jesus as a woman.
The Way, which was released in July but is noted in the September 2011 issue of The Oprah Magazine as a Title to Pick Up Now, transports its readers back to ancient Palestine where a young girl, Anna, struggles to comprehend her purpose in a male-dominated society.
After she witnesses the brutal murder of a woman in her town, and her family goes through its own set of tragedies, Anna's father disguises her as a boy and sells her to a group of shepherds.
After years of learning the shepherding trade and pretending to be a boy, she ends up with a group of women who celebrate femininity and have mystical powers, leading her to acknowledge the woman she truly is.
The title of the book, The Way, comes from the name of the philosophy that the mountain-dwelling Sisters believe in and practice.
Men, in the novel, are accused of violently silencing followers of The Way and creating a masculine God. For much of the story, Anna must hide her true identity as a woman, calling herself by the name of Jesus and even forgetting she is female at some points.
Controversial, no doubt.
In an interview with The Christian Post on Tuesday, though, Wolf said that her goal was not to offend anyone's religious beliefs.
It's not my role to criticize any religion, she said, though she has braced herself for criticism that might come her way.
"The story is fiction. It is in no way intended to be historic or scholarly. Again, my hope is to provoke conversation and dialogue, and I understand that [taking] criticism is a natural part of that."
Her personal story reveals much of her motivation behind her writing the novel. As a 6-year-old, Wolf set up a temporary altar in her parents driveway where she conducted Mass for an audience of mostly Jewish children, for which she had borrowed some items from the Catholic church she attended.
She says that she felt excluded from my spirituality as a child because of the amount of masculinity church leaders were male, God was identified as Father and the Christ is the Son. These identity issues played a big role in her writing of the book.
For her, finding her identity has been a search and a yearning that I've had, and that, I believe, other people have had as well, and so I wanted to explore it for myself but also bring other people along with me because I think it's a worthwhile exploration.
Today, Wolf doesn't identify herself with any particular religion, but believes in ideas similar to those that are promoted by The Way wonder, awe, attentiveness, and gratitude toward creation.
"For me, spirituality is a constant question, and a constant search ... it's the yearning that we all share, and that is to understand that which is greater than all of us, she commented.
This first novel will not be her last, either. Wolf has a trilogy planned, though she could only speak very little of it.
It continues the story of The Way into present day and beyond, she said.
She doesn't believe exclusively in the Christ of the Bible as the one, true way. At the same time, Wolf said that she believes that if people followed his teachings the world would be a better place.
I think there was a good reason all of the apostles were male.
Anyone remember when certain things were just disrespectful? The same people who say I am a Crazy, Stupid, Racist Republican if I say "100% of the terrorists were Muslim" are the people who say "shut up and keep quiet" if I am offended by those who attack my faith...from inside.
Don’t forget now, if your mother had testicles and a penis she would be your father.
Blasphemy aside, what is an “ancient Palestine” ?
Will she imagine muhammad as a women in her next novel?
Between the two of you I am reeling and rolling with laughter!!! Lol!!
“ancient Palestine”-——and the lies just continue out of these Marxist, godless people—who would no doubt never draw a picture of Mohammed as a woman.
They are cowards and liars and trying to make money off of useful idiots.
Just another attempt to neutralize God. The same sort of drivel that keeps being pumped out about Mary Magdalene and a made-up romantic relationship between her and Jesus and all that bunk about royal blood lines in Europe as a result. Just more clutter to distract us from the message and the God/person of Jesus. These writers and creative embellishers don’t even realize they are tools of the Great Deceiver, who ever since the Garden of Eden has used our own egos against us thru the Great Lie. We must stay focused on the Truth (Jesus), the only Way (Jesus) and the Light (again, only Jesus). To do otherwise puts us on the path to Hell.
She reads the bible with a hashish pipe in one hand from a galaxy far far away. Hippy dippy thinking!! Lol!
Progressive/Marxists/socialists/liberals are nothing but liars—who have turned their world upside down (and trying to convince us to do the same). Lies are truth to them.....like Heather has two mommies-—homosexuality is “good”-—women and men are just the same and interchangeable (homosexual marriage)....biology makes no difference to human beings.
There whole world is based on Marxist fairy tales......where there is no truth, no right and wrong, etc.
Last time I checked a version of the Bible which didn't excise the divinity of Christ, a husband was instructed to love his wife the way Christ loved the church, laying down his life for her. Hmmmm, sounds so, so, terrible for a wife, to have a man lay down all that is important to him, to care for and love her.
No, but I think I'd like to develop that idea!
Sure... That's why you used the name Jesus instead of Mohammed.
Sounds like something Oprah would promote
National Lampoon published “Jessica Christ”, a comic book style article in their magazine sometime around November of 1972 or early 1973. It was pretty offensive, but then NL always was.
Certain speculation about Jesus is interesting and titillating. Dan Brown’s speculation that Jesus married and left an heir (which isn’t a new idea, but the story he told wove the tale differently) is fascinating (to me) to consider.
However, others that portray Jesus as a black man, as a gay man or, as in this case, a woman, go beyond the pale in revisionist hack. This appears to be yet one more modern, contemptuous, revisionist attack on Christianity by people seeking an audience. We often complain that the terrorists trying to slaughter us have hijacked the Islamic “religion” (such as it is), but fail to recognize that the people presenting Jesus as anything but what He has historically been portrayed as are doing the same to Christianity.
Jesus isn’t a topic for expoitation by hacks seeking book sales. He is the Son of God and is due some revereance and respect. If we cannot honor the memory of a man that Chistians believe is our Saviour, we should respect the beliefs of His followers and quit trying to use Jesus to make a buck for a cheap book.
What is it with these women who are so intimidated/offended by men? It would be interesting to see if there is some common thread in their backgrounds. And then they can get some help. Or...the whole novel is simply for shock value and the hope that it will sell on that account.
Problem is, it wouldn't be fiction.
First guess; sexual abuse, by a male family member.
for postmodernists the narrative is more important than the truth.
Why doesn't Ms. Wolf follow His teachings if that is what she believes people should do? Does she not want the world to be better? Or just better for her because she created controversy and wishes to cash in on Jesus bashing?
Jesus claimed to be "the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father but by me". Seems to be exclusive. One cannot believe that Jesus was both a "good man" and a liar regarding His divine nature.
Dan Brown made some good coin off of his stench, this broad is just trying to follow suit.
****’The Way’ transports readers back to ancient Palestine, where they encounter a female Jesus ****
Yawn. Nothing new. NATIONAL LAMPOON magazine did such a thing back about 35 years ago. Her name was Jessica Rist.
Agree with you susie and it’s going to get a lot worse, in fact, make that an awful lot worse...
Another symptom of modern sickness.
There was a book imagining Christ as a pederast, too, wasn’t there?
And a whole theory out there of Him as an African-American, yes?
I dread to ask about PETA’s version of the story.
Yeah, right. Pingout tomorrow.
Freepmail wagglebee to subscribe or unsubscribe from the moral absolutes ping list.
Okay, pinging out now, great comments on the thread. Savagesusie tells it!
>> Article: “Wolf doesn’t identify herself with any particular religion”
So the book is effectively a goat-#.
It kinda works. They all had long hair back then.
Wolf said that her goal was not to offend anyone's religious beliefs.
Yeaaah... rigghhhhhhhttt..... and the picture on the blurb is just a picture, no goal to offend anyone's religious beliefs.....
bluntly, if anyone buys a Dan Brown novel they support this rot
I refused to sponsor Dan Brown's attack on Christianity. I didn't mind if he speculated, or said it was a work of fiction, but he portrayed it as truth.
I know Moslems and Hindus who have read that book and think that what we Christians believe is a lie saying "there's the proof" -- and yet all the evidence shows that Dan Brown was lying
others that portray Jesus as a black man, -- well, technically Jesus wasn't a blue-eyed blonde either. It doesn't matter how He is portrayed, He is a black man to black people, a blue-eyed blonde to Slavs, with Oriental features to Chinese etc. -- that doesn't matter. He was 100% man (whatever color but Jewish ;-P) and 100% God
Exactly -- you either believe He was who He said He was, or he was a madman and a liar. Nothing in between.
Well, He definitely was not "African-American", but not "European-American" or "Jewish-American" either. He was of Jewish ethnicity by His mother's side and the Jews of that time being Semitic would have looked like the Yemeni Jews of today
He was brown no doubt, probably even dark brown, maybe even tanned VERY dark brown, like an Ethiopian.
But the color of His skin doesn't matter.
Same ol’, same ol.
The only thing that’s surprising is that it’s not Easter time.
She might believe in different ways, but THAT path leads to death...
It was not an attack on Christianity, but you're never going to understand that, so I'll move on.
. . . and 100% God
Actually, He is 100% the Son of God, our Lord and Savior. God is 100% God.
Even worse - my daughter in Manhattan went to a mass and the priest said that Mary the Mother of God was Black.
My daughter is not racist - she was affronted about the facts!! Mary was semitic/Jewish and the icon shroud clearly shows the origin of Jesus. His beautiful Face is definitely male -
Jesus was a Male semitic Jew - no question. Follow the Shroud’s history.
Thank you Lord.
2. So, are you saying Jesus Christ is not God?
The hypostatic Union comes into play here. His nature was Divine and Human.
We could bring in Mary and the thread will go wild!!
The Holy Spirit gave Mary His Divine side with her Fiat (Latin -she said yes- not raped) and Mary gave Him the Human side with her humanity.
Perfect - just right for Justice-
1. I don’t believe that Dan Brown claimed that the story was true anymore than the 4 previous authors who wrote similar stories claimed that the story is true.
!a. I don’t care what Muslims think.
2. That is correct, Jesus Christ is the Son of God. God is still God.
to your point 1a, you may not care, but they use it as another "proof" of the "lies of crusaders"
2. you didn't answer my question -- according to you, is Jesus Christ God? Son of God, yes, but I believe that Jesus Christ is God along with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit -- do you concur?
you hit the nail on the head. Those who reject calling her Theotokos inevitably start down the road to denying that Jesus Christ was both 100% man and 100% God, part of the Godhead with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit — all are God, not separate Gods, but ONE God.
Ok, I’ll play.
1. Let me reiterate “I don’t believe that Dan Brown ever claimed that the story was true, anymore than the previous 4 authors who wrote a similar story.” That statement in no way conveys anything suggesting that you said I said anything different. Have you ever read the DaVinci Code, or are you just repeating the same ill-informed nonsense that others who haven’t read the book have claimed?
1a. No, they predicate their hatred of us “infidels” on crap written in the Koran that says anyone who isn’t Muslim is an infidel and deserves to be killed if they don’t convert. So, these people start out with closed minds and cannot consider anything else, nor are they able to coexist with those who do not believe exactly as they do. Thus, the wars they initiated against Christianity during the Crusades and the sequel to that that we are witnessing today. So, what Muslims think (assuming that they ever do) is of little or no consequence to me other than the fact that they are fixated on slaughtering as many “infidels” as possible.
2. I don’t know how I can say this more clearly - Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and is our Lord and Savior. Jesus is not God, AND the Son of God; they are two distinct individuals in my religious beliefs. YOUR particular branch of Christianity may teach otherwise and that’s ok. All Christians do not necessarily believe exactly alike, that’s why there are so many different branches of Christianity. The difference between us and the Muslims is that we can all coexist peacefully with our different versions of Christianity. Various Muslim sects cannot which is why you see Sunnis, Shiites, Shia and whatever other sects they have all murdering each other in the name of Allah, PLUS each of them committed to slaughtering as many Christians and Jews as possible. Christians accept that God made room His kingdom for all of us regardless of our specific religious beliefs. Muslims have NO such belief and desire only to conquer (or kill) all of us and enslave us to the rantings of a psychotic 6th century pedophile.
Since you stick to the notion that Dan Brown claimed that the story is true, here is what he says on his own website about the DaVinci Code in response to specific questions:
Q: HOW MUCH OF THIS NOVEL IS TRUE?
A: The Da Vinci Code is a novel and therefore a work of fiction. While the book’s characters and their actions are obviously not real, the artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals depicted in this novel all exist (for example, Leonardo Da Vinci’s paintings, the Gnostic Gospels, Hieros Gamos, etc.). These real elements are interpreted and debated by fictional characters. While it is my belief that some of the theories discussed by these characters may have merit, each individual reader must explore these characters’ viewpoints and come to his or her own interpretations. My hope in writing this novel was that the story would serve as a catalyst and a springboard for people to discuss the important topics of faith, religion, and history.
Q: BUT DOESN’T THE NOVEL’S “FACT” PAGE CLAIM THAT EVERY SINGLE WORD IN THIS NOVEL IS HISTORICALLY FACT?
A: If you read the “FACT” page, you will see it clearly states that the documents, rituals, organization, artwork, and architecture in the novel all exist. The “FACT” page makes no statement whatsoever about any of the ancient theories discussed by fictional characters. Interpreting those ideas is left to the reader.