Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)

Known also as Jesus, the Messiah of Christianity. Reverence precludes his being widely featured in Christian Fantasy, although his promised return is featured in some literary accounts of the Apocalypse; there are also several movie and tv versions of his life and ambiguous death, including some that are challenging, such as Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979) and The Last Temptation of Christ (1988).

In some plaintive ironic fantasies, including A Second Coming (1900) by Richard Marsh, Christ's return is unrecognized and unwelcome, but his viewpoint is more often tacit than incarnate, as in If Christ Came to Chicago (1894) by W T Stead (1849-1912). Victims of Delusion occasionally think they are he, as in They Call me Carpenter (1922) by Upton Sinclair. Sceptical writers sometimes offer uncharitable accounts of his career and its climax; examples are My First Two Thousand Years (1928) by George Sylvester Viereck and Paul Eldridge and Live from Golgotha (1992) by Gore Vidal (1925-2012). He is reconstructed by Stanley Elkin in The Living End (1979). Philip José Farmer's Jesus on Mars (1979) discovers him in exotic surroundings, while James Morrow's Only Begotten Daughter (1990) finds him pursuing a mission of mercy in Hell. [BS]


This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.