09 January 2008

The Elseworld, the Flesh and the Devil

Yes, sorry, that last entry was a bit dull, wasn't it? I've been rather dim-witted at work this week as well.

I'm still trying to persuade my brain and body that Christmas is over, and that I really am expected to be functioning as normal at the moment, rather than lounging around reading, sleeping and watching TV. Also that there are no mince pies or chocolate decorations left, because I've eaten them all.

Never mind. Surefish have put up my latest column, written back in December, about alternative history and what it might tell us about christianity. Read it and let me know what you think.

A slightly more interesting allotheological question than the one I ask here, "What if Jesus had never been crucified?" would (unless, of course, you're a boringly conservative penal substitutionary atonement fan) be "What if Jesus had never been an adult?".

Infant mortality in first-century Palestine was shockingly high, not to mention that a successful conception is absolutely no guarantee you'll end up being born. Many doctrines of the atonement hold that Christ's incarnation, with an optional side-order of death and suffering, were sufficient for the salvation of humanity -- but what if this happened and no-one knew about it, because the saviour had perished from diphtheria, saving the world in the process, while two weeks old?

Er. That probably won't be of much interest to most of you, but it's the kind of thing I sometimes think about (along with "What if Jesus had been born Persian, say, or indeed Roman?", "What if Jesus had used his powers for evil and become a supervillain?" and "Mm, I could really do with a mince pie".) This doesn't necessarily mean anyone else has to take any notice, at least until I put it in a novel or something.

...and now, inevitably, I'm imagining what that middle one would look like as a comic, with rival Roman and Jewish teams of superheroes (The Centurion and Kid Caesar, Simon Magus and the Wandering Jew) vying for the privilege of taking down Messiahman and his Disciples of Doom. I need to go and clean my brain out now.

Oh look, a badger!

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