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Jesus is hot

April 4th, 2004 · No Comments

Speaking of pop culture heroes… Yule Heibel linked to an article in Saturday’s Toronto Star What a trend we have in Jesus that claims Jesus is hot.

Over the past few months, the dreamy-looking and fanatically adored religious icon has crossed over, born again as a full-fledged international pop celebrity.


In fact, many believe Jesus is fast becoming the ultimate pop celebrity. Though church attendance in many mainline denominations is down, The Da Vinci Code and The Passion are drawing huge crowds. (According to Doubleday, there are now more than 6 million copies of The Da Vinci Code in print, making the year-old, still-in-hardcover book the fastest-selling adult fiction title ever.)

“He is very deeply embedded in American culture,” says author Fox, a history professor at the University of Southern California. “He has made it into our pantheon of heroes.”

In fact, it could be argued that Jesus was destined for stardom from the beginning. During his 30-odd years on Earth, he surrounded himself with believers who promoted him and continued to do so long after his death. The apostles publicized his story, keeping his “brand” alive for centuries. And here’s the kicker. Like legions of megastars who would follow — Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain and Princess Diana among them — Jesus Christ died young and under dramatic circumstances.

I’m not sure how I feel about Jesus topping the list of “pop icons of the 21st century”. Outside of viewing The Passion movie, I haven’t seen this trendy Jesus on T-shirts and TV. This article feels a bit strung together for me, typed hype, trying to find explanations and experts to fill the space on the page. I’m not sure there is a reason why Jesus is a trend. Culture is complex. Who’s to say that the same reason A wears a “Jesus is My HomeBoy” shirt is the same reason B wears one?

But I do agree with the quotes from Dr. Christopher Lind, director of the Toronto School of Theology:

He acknowledges that the world’s relationship with Jesus is changing.

“The Christian church has less control over the culture,” Lindsays. “As well, people who are religious are not necessarily Christian.

“We are also living in a world which is increasingly skeptical of organized religion.”

I feel I know many people who would say I don’t like religion but I like Jesus. Jesus is beyond whatever box or borders, structures or restrictions people like to put on him and others. He’s real not religion. That’s why – I think – Jesus is hot.

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