Reading Jesus is a personal journey through the fundamental Biblical stories. As celebrated author Mary Gordon ponders the intense strangeness of a deity in human form, unresolved moral ambiguities within the text, and the problem posed to her as an enlightened reader by the miracle of the Resurrection. What she rediscovers—and reinterprets with her signature candor, intelligence, and straightforwardness—is a rich store of overlapping, sometimes conflicting teachings that feel both familiar and tantalizingly elusive.
Novelist and memoirist Gordon (Circling My Mother) examines her faith by closely reading, in a kind of literary lectio divina (sacred reading), the four Christian gospels that recount the life of Christ. The accounts by evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke and John of the life of Jesus have a common subject and amazingly different treatments. Gordon tackles the power and puzzle of the Christian gospels with measure and imagination, providing welcome relief for those left cold by scholarly or fundamentalist parsing. Raised Catholic, she writes as a layperson and cradle believer thrilled and troubled by these history-shaping texts, unafraid to articulate questions: what does it mean to be perfect? what exactly is a miracle? Her savoring of particular lines is poetic and amplifies the beauty and sometimes ambiguous challenge of the language, stories and injunctions of the gospels. Gordon writes to find out what she thinks and lets readers listen in. Those whose faith is infused with humanism and love of the power of words will love Gordon's words about matters and mysteries of faith.