chapter  7
20 Pages

The Challenge of a ‘Hopeless’ God: Negotiating José Saramago’s Novel The Gospel according to Jesus Christ

In orthodox configurations of Christian faith, hope ultimately rests in the confidence that God is a faithful God who is constant in his love and justice. But what if this hopeful confidence were ill-founded? What if the love and justice of God were to implode into a black hole of divine self-interest and a programme of divinelysponsored evil? What if Christian hope is really a public-relations dupe that cloaks in splendour what are really only the machinations of human manipulation and power? No one considers disturbing but necessary questions of this sort better than Nobel prize-winning author José Saramago, in his unsettling Jesus novel The Gospel according to Jesus Christ.1