Baker Academic

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Help me write my next book.... pretty please?

My next book will be in the Oneworld "beginner's guides" series. It will be called, simply, "Jesus: A Beginner's Guide." Because Jesus (not specifically the historian's Jesus) is such a big topic, I will be doing something of a "deep cuts" survey of the evolution of an idea. I.e. this won't be another "greatest hits" book. Although, there are a few top-40 soundtracks on the playlist.

The book will include four parts: (1) Jesus, the Man; (2) Jesus in Early Christian Literature; (3) Jesus in Western History; and (4) Jesus in popular culture.

The first three parts are mostly finished. I now begin part four: pop culture. So I need your help.

What elements of pop culture should I include? Criteria: (a) it must be an element that reveals a characteristic of the culture; (b) it has to tickle my fancy.

Examples: Warner Sallman's Head of Christ; Jesus as a recurring character on South Park; Jesus on midwestern billboard ads.




  1. Internet memes come and go, but Jesus has always been a consistent one. Usually, Jesus isn't being mocked in them, but Jesus' image is used to mock Christians. Whatever political, ethical, religious (or irreligious) issue is being argued, people want Jesus on their side and seem to think that he would be.

  2. I would assume this one is too obvious, but the play and the movie based on it by ALW: Jesus Christ Superstar.

    Also, and I wouldn't know how to incorporate these, but the many memes that pop up with Jesus either explicating a quote or playing with words (e.g., "I said I hate FIGS!", etc.)

  3. Jesus Christ Superstar (play and film).

    Memes with Jesus either playing with words or explicating a quote (e.g., "I said I hate FIGS!", etc.)

  4. The idea of Jesus on billboard ads got me thinking more broadly about the use of Jesus in marketing. And that got me thinking even more broadly about the use of Jesus as a tool/agent of propaganda for various institutions (such as, but certainly not limited to, governments or would-be representatives of governments).

  5. Jesus in films would be interesting. Everything from Jesus Christ Superstare and the Da Vinci Code to The Passion and Rissen.

    Thomas Davis

  6. WWJD stuff, on the liberal side, etc.. What Would Jesus Do.

    - Dr. G.

  7. Jesus is a recurring character on Bro' Town, where he is a somewhat whiny foil to God, both of whom are depicted as Samoan men in lavalavas.

  8. Jesus on The Daily Show.