How to Read Literature Like a Professor

Jesus of Nazareth, now thought to have been born around 4 BC, was a religious leader who some consider to be the Son of God and Messiah (savior) of the Jewish people. During his life, Jesus worked as a carpenter, performed miracles, preached, and conversed with his disciples. He was crucified at 33 years old, and Christians believe he was resurrected after death, appearing to followers before ascending to the Kingdom of Heaven. His life and death are recorded in the New Testament of the Bible. Christianity (and thus Jesus himself) is of central importance within How to Read Literature Like a Professor, due to the fact that the book is primarily concerned with the Western canon, which has been heavily influenced by the Judeo-Christian tradition. Indeed, Foster devotes an entire chapter to discussing Christ figures in literature, arguing that authors experiment with this archetype in ways that can be surprising and even offensive to religious readers. When engaged in critical reading, Foster encourages the reader to “put aside” their personal relationship (or lack of relationship) to Jesus, and try to examine Christ figures from an informed, yet neutral perspective.

Jesus Christ Quotes in How to Read Literature Like a Professor

The How to Read Literature Like a Professor quotes below are all either spoken by Jesus Christ or refer to Jesus Christ. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
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). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Harper Perennial edition of How to Read Literature Like a Professor published in 2014.
Chapter 14 Quotes

Fiction and poetry and drama are not necessarily playgrounds for the overly literal. Many times I'll point out that a character is Christlike because he does X and Y and you might come back with, "But Christ did A and Z and his X wasn't like that, and besides, this character listens to AC/DC."

Related Characters: Jesus Christ
Related Symbols: The Bible
Page Number: 129
Explanation and Analysis:
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Jesus Christ Character Timeline in How to Read Literature Like a Professor

The timeline below shows where the character Jesus Christ appears in How to Read Literature Like a Professor. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 14: Yes, She’s a Christ Figure, Too
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Despite religious diversity and the separation of church and state, America is a Christian culture; most cultural artifacts have been influenced by Christianity on some level, and thus it... (full context)
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...lies in his bed in the shape of a cross. Regardless of your relationship to Christianity, you should be able to recognize the symbolic connection between this character and Jesus. And... (full context)
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When searching for Christ figures, it helps not to read too literally. For example, Louise Erdrich’s Love Medicine (1984)... (full context)
Chapter 20: …So Does Season
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...mood will be essentially the same. The Ancient Greeks, for example, associate fall with comedy. Christianity, meanwhile, has established a link between the spring and Jesus’ resurrection. (full context)
Chapter 26: Is He Serious? And Other Ironies
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...undermine the moral value or authority of belief systems, institutions, and individuals, from physicians to Christianity. Irony makes interpretation complicated, as it can lead scholars to argue in a counterintuitive (and... (full context)