Jesus in Love: A Novel
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What if Jesus knew how it feels to be queer?
Surprising answers come in Jesus in Love, a novel that re-imagines Christ’s legendary life as an erotic, mystical adventure in first-century Palestine. Jesus has today’s queer sensibilities and sexual sophistication as he lives out the Christian story in this novel of spiritual and sexual awakening.
Readers can relate to the struggles he faces: He feels like his real self is both male and female. He falls in love with people of both sexes. Society doesn’t understand him.
“St. Francis ’Neath
the Bitter Tree”
Jesus, the narrator, speaks in an engaging, up-to-date tone as he reveals his intimate relationships with John the beloved disciple (a gay man mourning his lover’s death), Mary Magdalene (a highly intelligent survivor of sexual abuse) and the multi-gendered Holy Spirit. The contemporary tone and vivid descriptions make the myths feel surprisingly real and appealing.
The novel shows how Jesus grows over a one-year period — from his decision to get baptized until the day he sends his friends away to teach others. The compassionate, nature-loving Jesus finds ways to embody male and female as he does humanity and divinity. Ultimately he leads disciples of both sexes beyond ordinary human consciousness to a place where sexuality and spirituality are one.
Cutting-edge theology, medieval mysticism and the latest archeological discoveries undergird this artful page-turner filled with spiritual insights and sensuality. Jesus in Love frees the reader to imagine and experience Christ in new ways.
Publisher: AndroGyne Press (Dec. 15, 2006)
Paperback: 328 pages
Read news and reviews of Jesus in Love:
Bay Area Reporter: Sensuous, courageous, and unique
Book Marks: A winsome affirmation of erotic love’s sacred potential
Midwest Book Review: Embodies
the essence of peace, tolerance, and compassion
“A truly mind-blowing creation. The writing style is just perfect. The non-biblical sounding voice is one of the reasons I think the book succeeds. Kitt Cherry’s presentation provides a very satisfying answer to the sexual (and homosexual) issues that to this day remain mysteries about the life of the real historical Jesus. It all fits into the traditional myth/story—and it is ALWAYS interesting to see how she puts the words of Jesus into his mouth in the context of her drama. Jesus in Love is a wonderful, gay-sensitive, and delightfully ‘shocking’ reassessment of the stories of the old-time religion. I promise you, you’ll be surprised by the book.”
—Toby Johnson, author of Gay Spirituality and former editor of White Crane: A Journal of Gay Spirit
“People who want to understand how erotic love can be sacred, and divine love can be erotic, will delight in this novel. So will anyone who wants to be stimulated theologically, sensuously, and spiritually, all at the same time. And for those interested in moving beyond our society’s rigid gendersexual norms, this book is a feast.”
—Virginia Ramey Mollenkott, Ph.D., author of Omnigender, Transgender Journeys and Sensuous Spirituality.
“I loved it. I understand why it rubs some conservative folk the wrong way, but I say rub ’em. For every person who’s offended, there must be another that revels in it.”
—John Fleck, gay performance artist of the “NEA Four”
“Breathtaking— well-characterized, well-written, emotionally and, dare I say it, theologically mature.”
—JoSelle Vanderhooft, editor of Tiresias Revisited: Magical Tales for Transfolk
“I was sad I finished it because I was enjoying being with those characters every night! I especially liked Jesus. He was such a likeable character that you really did want to be connected to him. I so loved that he wasn’t a top-down egotistical guy ‘who thought he was God.’ He was so human. It’s a page turner with much spiritual insight.”
—Judith A. Finlay, Ph.D., biochemist
“In imagining a Jesus who really lived, laughed and loved, Kitt Cherry has broken through the stained glass barrier. Don’t be afraid. This is not a prurient look at the sex life of Jesus, but a classic re-telling of the greatest story ever told, the story of a truly human Jesus and those truly human women and men who lived, laughed and loved with him. Read JESUS IN LOVE and you will feel His Spirit reaching out to you, inviting you to live, laugh and love with him as well.”
—Rev. Mel White, founder of Soulforce and author of Religion Gone Bad: The Hidden Dangers of the Christian Right
“What a lovely, gentle, playful book! It sparkles with erotic christic power, which we might read as an image of Jesus’ own sexual energies. Kitt Cherry continues to write with passion as she draws creatively and faithfully from deep wellsprings of imagination.”
—The Rev. Carter Heyward, Ph.D., Howard Chandler Robbins Professor Emerita of Theology, Cambridge, MA
“Many people will misunderstand this book—especially those who refuse to read it. It is a contemporary and creative work of fiction rooted in a sensibility of the search for holiness. It’s a book whose time has come.”
—Rev. Malcolm Boyd, author of Are You Running with Me, Jesus?
“A daring, badly needed and well written book. This novel helps us accept the redemption of our erotic bodies as part of Jesus’ salvation of us from all alienation. We have always known that the great mystics such as Teresa of Avila experience mystical prayer flowing over into an erotic experience. Cherry had the audacity to imagine the same thing happening in Jesus, resulting in both hetero and homosexual feelings.”
—John J. McNeill, author of The Church and the Homosexual
“What a delicious treat on the first Sunday of Lent. I have been yearning to feel closer to Jesus, and this book has been a great help.”
—Father Dennis O’Neill, Catholic priest
“Bring on the sequel to Kitt Cherry’s fascinating novel about a queer Jesus. She takes familiar biblical texts and infuses them with postmodern sexuality, giving new meaning to ‘the passion of Christ.’ This well written page-turner deserves a second act as readers await the next chapters of an oft-told story never told this way before.”
—Mary Hunt, Ph.D., co-director, Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual