Jesus Incognito

The Hidden Christ in Western Art since 1960

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In this book Martien Brinkman explores the Jesus incognito as found in Western film, literature, and the visual arts since 1960. His interest here is focused primarily on indirect references to the Jesus figure. To his surprise, he found an abundance of allusions to Jesus in key figures in modern art. This confirmed his view that film, literature, and the visual arts make a substantial contribution, even in secular Western culture, to continuing reflection on Jesus’ significance.
Brinkman finds important characteristics of a hidden Christ in films by Gabriel Axel, Ingmar Bergman, Krzysztof Kieslowski, and Lars von Trier, novels by Peter De Vries, J.M. Coetzee, and Arnon Grunberg, poems by Les Murray and Czeslaw Milosz, and paintings by Andy Warhol, Harald Duwe, and Frans Franciscus. He defines a hidden Christ as a fictional human individual who can be seen as a new embodiment of the meaning that can be attributed in the present to the biblical figure of Jesus. The hidden Christ is therefore a contemporized Jesus figure.
This book will be of interest for everyone who shares Brinkman’s quest for this Jesus incognito.

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Martien E. Brinkman (1950) is Professor of Ecumenical/Intercultural Theology at VU University, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. His previous books include The Tragedy of Human Freedom (2000) and The Non-Western Jesus (2009).
An impressive study in art and theology Clement Grene, Edinburgh in The Expository Times
Preface
Introduction
More than Illustrations
Theological Impotence and Reluctance
An Unfinished Tale
Reciprocal Involvement
Rearrangement
Summary
The Hidden Christ in Film
Jesus Figures and Christ Figures
Symbol and Reality
Mutual Transformation
Babette’s Feast: Background and Story Line
Babette’s Feast: Interpretation
The Communicants: Background and Story Line
The Communicants: Interpretation
A Short Film about Love: Background and Story Line
A Short Film about Love: Interpretation
Breaking the Waves: Background and Story Line
Breaking the Waves: Interpretation
Summary and Evaluation
The Hidden Christ in Fiction and Poetry
Introduction
The Blood of the Lamb: Background and Story Line
The Blood of the Lamb: Interpretation
Disgrace: Background and Story Line
Disgrace: Interpretation
The Jewish Messiah: Background and Story Line
The Jewish Messiah: Interpretation
Les Murray: “Easter 1984” and “Church”
Czeslaw Milosz: “Treatise on Theology”
Summary and Evaluation
The Hidden Christ in the Visual Arts
Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper as Icon
Andy Warhol’s Last Supper
Frans Franciscus’ Last Supper
Harald Duwe’s Last Supper
Summary and Evaluation
Epilogue
Cultural Shifts
Four Presuppositions
Western Contours?
Bibliography
Index of Names
Index of Subjects