Friday, July 24, 2020

Searching for a Jesus Who Looks More Like Me

By Eric V. Copage
The Chinese-born artist James He Qi’s ”Peace, Be Still” (1998) depicts Christ stilling the waters in bold colors that recall stained-glass window. He blends Chinese folk customs and modern western art.Credit...James He Qi
Close your eyes and imagine that Jesus is in front of you. Is the man kneeling in prayer in the Garden at Gethsemane Chinese? Likely as not, the image that presents itself to most Americans is of a lithe, bearded man with shoulder-length, chestnut-colored hair. By the middle of the 20th century, the global center of Christianity had begun shifting away from Europe to Africa, Asia and Latin America. “Christianity around the world was becoming less white, and pictures of Jesus hanging in churches from Jordan to Japan to Jamaica were looking more like the people, instead of the standard white portraits from Europe or North America,” said Todd Johnson, co-director of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity, at the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Mass. [More]