Quest for the Legitimizing Jesus Deployment of a Contested Symbol by a Non-traditional Religious Movement
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There have always been alternative interpretations of Jesus throughout Christian history. The meaning of such a symbol is never static. However, a general theological consensus had maintained an essentially hegemonic position throughout much of the Christianized world for most of the centuries of the Common Era. Jesus as an authoritative religious symbol has been destabilized by modern scholarship. Popular books and movies that explore and experiment with variant interpretations have proliferated in recent years. This contested but still powerful symbol is reinterpreted and employed by many groups, including a non-Christian religious movement based in Salt Lake City. Even though this group does not employ the traditional meanings associated with Jesus, by constructing alternative interpretations they distinguish their identity boundaries with reference to the dominant culture, create plausibility for a different worldview, and lend legitimacy to their movement.
Journal of Interdisciplinary Research, Vol. 1, p. 75-91
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