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AbstractIt should come as no surprise that a volume on Christians requires a chapter on Jesus, called the Christ by his earliest followers in the movement that would later be labelled Christianity, and upon whom much of Christian scholarship and identity rests. However, in keeping with the Lived-Religion approach of this work, I shall be exploring the diversity of interpretations of Jesus that have impacted upon everyday Christians’ lives, rather than the grand historical or theological narratives that have been preferenced in previous generations of scholarship. Jesus matters to Christians. Interpretations of his life, teachings, death and resurrection sit at the heart of many individual Christians’ daily lives, and their relationship with God and each other. It is not for nothing that many Christians ask, ‘What Would Jesus Do?’ when making decisions in their everyday lives. But to which Jesus are we referring? Whilst this volume moves beyond the theological paradigms of previous approaches to Christianity, we may still learn from this body of scholarship. In his seminal chapter, originally published in 1972, Don Cupitt outlined the diversity of Christian responses to Jesus using the famous title ‘One Jesus, Many Christs?’ Intriguingly formulated as a question, Cupitt was arguing for a liberalization of theological approaches, not to the historical figure, but to the myriad interpretations of that figure through a diversity of social, political and religious contexts. In this chapter, I wish to continue in the spirit of Cupitt, not to write theology as he was doing, but to unpack the Lived Religion-in-action of numerous Christian individuals and communities that represent this broad spectrum of interpretations of Jesus – indeed, Jesuses – so as to understand the lived realities of relationships with Jesus for everyday Christians.
CitationGregg, S. E. (2019) Jesus, in Chryssides, G. D. and Gregg, S. E. (Eds.) The Bloomsbury handbook to studying Christians. London: Bloomsbury Academic.
TypeChapter in book
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