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The Historical Jesus and the Literary Imagination, 1860–1920$
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Jennifer Stevens

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781846314704

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846316159

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The Rise of the Fictional Jesus

The Rise of the Fictional Jesus

Chapter:
(p.84) Chapter 3 The Rise of the Fictional Jesus
Source:
The Historical Jesus and the Literary Imagination, 1860–1920
Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/UPO9781846316159.005

This chapter discusses the fully fictional prose that emerged from the Life of Jesus tradition. Samuel Butler's The Fair Haven stood out from other novels of all persuasions that were flooding the literary marketplace. Butler used lengthy quotations from the writings of famous theologians such as Henry Alford and William Paley to supplement his text. Butler mentioned his own heterodox convictions to conclude the book's prolix and repetitive examination of the Resurrection narratives. The Fair Haven is recognized best as a fictional representation of the human struggle to find certainty and truth. Edwin A. Abbott, Butler's contemporary at Saint John's College, is one of the numerous readers to be puzzled by The Fair Haven.

Keywords:   Fair Haven, Samuel Butler, religious fiction, Edwin A. Abbott, fictional Jesus

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