By any standard -- religious and secular alike -- Jesus has been one of the most dominant figures of Western culture for 2,000 years. The Blackwell Companion to Jesus spans the centuries to explore the diverse ways in which Jesus of Nazareth has been imagined or portrayed from the beginnings of Christianity to the present day.
Through a comprehensive series of essays reflecting the most recent scholarship, the volume considers the myriad images of Jesus that have arisen throughout history, offering an objective assessment of how and why these portrayals have been meaningful for those who embraced them. In doing so, it illuminates the diverse ways Jesus has been perceived through history -- whether as an ideal to aspire to, or as an instrument of oppression. Individual essays fall under broad parameters such as portrayals of Jesus in the New Testament, beyond the New Testament, and Jesus in non-Christian religions. Other essays explore such themes as the philosophical and historic perspectives of Jesus, modern manifestations, and topics such as Jesus in art, fiction, and film. This broad coverage and multi-faith perspective ensures that The Blackwell Companion to Jesus offers rich and rewarding insights which shape our understanding of this influential figure and his enduring legacy.