Archive of articles classified as' "Religion"Back home
A graphic novel by Chester Brown
Subtitle: “Prostitution And Religious Obedience In The Bible”
I recommend this book with reservations.
Some of you who are Christians shouldn’t read it; not because it has naughty pictures in it, but because you aren’t spiritually capable of processing Brown’s interpretation of the Bible.
You will rant and rave and condemn his book
and his ideas but gain no benefit from them.
And by “benefit” I don’t mean you will change your mind and accept what he says, but that you won’t take his perspective to look at the source material with fresh eyes.
Because frankly, that’s the most important thing about this book: Its ability to get us to step out of our traditional mindsets and look at the text anew.
We may opt to say, “Hmm, interesting, but I’m not convinced” and return to our original point of view, but we will at least now have the ability to evaluate that belief in comparison with another, far more different interpretation.
And that can only strengthen our belief in the long run.
Conversely, some of you who are skeptics shouldn’t read it either because you lack the perspective and context to grasp the points Brown makes.
You’ll gleefully shout, “Aha! Mary was a hooker! I knew it!”
and decide there is no reason to look any further into
the teachings of Christ because it’s all bogus.
That’s not what Brown is saying.
So after the jump I’ll analyze what Brown’s point is.
I will say here that Brown’s style is aptly suited for this book, just cartoony enough to make the stories and characters accessible to all readers, realistic enough to forestall unintentional comedy. Brown has chosen to approach his versions of the stories mostly from a plain text reading (i.e., what does a story itself tell, not “Is this story factual?”) although he does look at some stories in the context of extra-Biblical knowledge of the cultures involved.
As Brown has chosen a plain text approach, I will offer my critique of his book based on a plain text reading as well. If you’re not capable of reading what follows with an open mind, here is a hopefully amusing post to keep you entertained.
The map, as Alfred Korzybski was so fond of pointing out, is not the territory.
Neither is the flag the nation,
nor the word the reality.