Book Write-Up: Children of God, by Lars Petter Sveen

Lars Petter Sveen. Children of God. Trans. Guy Puzey. Graywolf, 2018. See here to purchase the book.

Lars Petter Sveen is a Norwegian author, who has received literary awards. Children of God is set in first century C.E. Israel, the time of the historical Jesus. It consists of short stories, many of which overlap with each other in characters. Looming throughout the book is a blind old man, a sinister presence who still appeals to people’s desire for purpose and meaning.

I found this book to be rather dull, to be honest, but I may like it if I were to read it years in the future. Plus, you may find it interesting. The book is a translation from the original Norwegian, yet the prose is neat and clean. Perhaps the prose could have had more feeling in it, though.

People in the book struggle with profound issues. One person desires healing and receives it yet finds his faith tested when his illness returns. A revolutionary struggles with Roman oppression due to the pacifistic teachings of Jesus.

Jesus appears rather human in this book. He does not exude an enormous amount of warmth, but neither is he cold. He responds like one would expect a lot of people to respond: with guarded tentativeness. There are people who believe that they are healed by Jesus yet their diseases remain, and Sveen may have been trying to make some profound point here: they were healed within, even if they were not healed without. Still, Jesus seems to accomplish real outward healings. The book is somewhat nebulous about whether Jesus rose from the dead or was a failed idealist. One character remarks that many versions of Jesus emerged after the claims that Jesus rose from the dead.

This book is not exactly preachy, but people still wrestle with the teachings of Jesus.

I checked this book out from the library. My review is honest.

 

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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