Passio by Gary Speziale
Readers will get to experience the Passion of a queer Christ when my novel At the Cross is published in early 2008.
I’m in the final stages of proofreading the typeset galleys of At the Cross, the sequel to Jesus in Love. As I reread and revise the book for the last time, I feel that this second volume may be the better half because it includes the dramatic Passion narrative.
At the Cross should be available next year in time for Lent, the pre-Easter season when Christians reflect on Christ’s arrest, trial, crucifixion, death and resurrection. In 2008 Lent begins Feb. 6.
Development of the cover for At the Cross is also underway. The image above is a drawing by Gary Speziale, the openly gay New York artist who did the cover illustration for Jesus in Love. Gary and I hope that the cover of At the Cross will embody a similar spirit. Gary is one of the 11 artists that I profiled in my book Art That Dares: Gay Jesus, Woman Christ, and More.
Originally the two novels Jesus in Love and At the Cross formed one long manuscript, a fictional autobiography of a bisexual Christ. My editor at AndroGyne Press and I decided to split it into two separate books. Readers can choose to focus on Jesus’ upbeat early ministry in Jesus in Love, or to take the darker journey all the way to the cross and beyond.
A passionate Jesus stands up to religious leaders and pays the ultimate price in At the Cross. Speaking with today’s sophistication, Jesus reveals the erotic, mystical experiences that may have propelled his life, death, and resurrection in first-century Palestine. Love stories are interwoven with his Last Supper, arrest, trial, crucifixion, and resurrection, ending on Pentecost. Jesus transcends gender identity, sexual orientation, and ultimately death itself. He leads disciples of both sexes toward ecstatic union with God.