Monday, May 22, 2006

Alternative Jesus: The Second Coming

Now the problem with bringing Jesus to life in the 20th Century, as suggested in my last post on the subject, is that the 20th Century as we know it would not exist had he not walked the Earth when he did. As has been speculated elsewhere, the Roman Empire may have continued to flourish. The influence on Christianity throughout western culture would have to be carefully removed from every aspect. There would have to be some alternative means of working out what year it is, which is one thing that really bugged me about Roma Eterna.

Is it possible to get from 33AD to 1933 and still end up with Hitler's rise to power without the effect of Christianity? Possibly, or at least something similar; but if not, there is always an alternative - Left Behind: the WWII chronicles!

Alternative histories of World War Two are so much a staple of sf as to be a cliche unless given a sufficient twist. Harry Turtledove continues to be a prolific writer of alternate WW2 scenarios, notably the Worldwar sequence, in which an alien invasion interrupts the proceedings... (Incidentally, I think these stories, in trying to follow the course of events in the US, Japan, Germany and Russia, as well as on the alien mothership, get a bit too complex to keep track of at times, and I had trouble figuring out why the lizards wanted to invade anyway if all they were going to do was moan about the weather.)

So that's my latest plan to sneak in under the cover of 'end times thriller' and introduce sf to the Christian fiction reading masses.

Although, Elliot's probably read it already...


Elliot said...

No, doesn't ring any bells...

It's weird enough that it just might work!

And you could make Karl Barth, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Niemoller, Bishops William Temple and George Bell his new or original disciples! (Depending on if it's the first or second coming.)

Ooh, and He could manifest Himself at Le Chambon, the little French Protestant village which was smuggling out Jews.

It would be very weird to try to connect the Holocaust with the Alternative Jesus. Though if it weren't for the history of medieval Christian anti-Semitism, there may not have been a Holocaust. Hitler may have gone after the Slavs first or something.

There's a little book called "Jesus and the Holocaust" by a Christian convert from Judaism named Joel Marcus. It might be of interest.

Oh, and BTW, I reviewed The Dream Thief. Luckily for you it improved! ;-)

UKSteve said...

I saw your review... I still might give it another read and give the world a counterpoint... then again I may discover that it doesn't really stand up to scrutiny now I'm a bit more well-read.

Elliot said...

Like I said, the second half is somewhat better. I think it would be possible to write a more positive review if you really took your time with the book and forgot the first half, basing it on the second.