Friday, February 15, 2008

Manga Jesus

Nigerian artist Ajinbayo Akinsiku has used the Japanese comic book format to produce "The Manga Bible: From Genesis to Revelation" (see on the New York Times site). In Akinsiku's version, Jesus is a "samurai stranger who's come to town - Christ is a hard guy, seeking revolution and revolt, a tough guy." There is also a "Manga Messiah" published by the New Life League, although I'm not clear if this is simply a contemporary translation of the Bible with manga-style illustrations - guess I'll have to buy it to find out.

Also in the paper today:
The Glenn Gould Prize has been awarded to Dr. Jose Antonio Abreu, the founder of the Venezuelan music education program called El Sistema, which has taught thousands of impoverished children.
The Globe & Mail has the inspiring story of YAGTU, a successful grassroots women's organization in Mali, involved in (among other things) teaching women to make soap, improving access to contraception, working to decrease infant mortality and malnutrition, combating genital mutilation, and giving women access to land ownership.
The same newspaper has a piece on how Kenyan bloggers are using the Web to draw attention to post-electoral violence there:
The NY Times reports on how toxins used for fishing have affected poor Jamaicans in that country's Rio Grande Valley:

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Hemingway Writes About the Crucifixion

I did not know that Ernest Hemingway wrote a play about the crucifixion of Jesus. See today's New York Times, in an article ( about Hemingway's other play, The Fifth Column, set during the Spanish Civil War:
"Though no one talks about them much, Ernest Hemingway wrote two plays. The first, finished in 1926, was 'Today Is Friday,' a forgettable one-acter set on the evening of the original Good Friday, when three Roman centurions get together at a tavern to discuss memorable crucifix'ons they’ve seen, including the one that afternoon. Not surprisingly, they sound a lot like Hemingway’s Nick Adams. “He looked pretty good to me in there today,' one of them says admiring Jesus’ stoicism."

Forgettable? Maybe so, but I'd love to read it.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Knockin' on Heaven's Door

Great interview with N.T. Wright, a scholar whom I've much admired, in Time:,8599,1710844,00.html. I've been questioning how to reconcile the Apostle Paul's emphasis on the resurrection of the dead at the Last Day with the popular belief in heaven (or hell) immediately following death.

Saturday, February 02, 2008


Robert Alter has previously published a new translation of the Torah, and now he has translated the Psalms ( - see Elliot Weinberger's review in The London Review of Books,