Lent is a time of penance, a time where self-aggrandisement has no place and where repentance should take centre stage. Because of that, I will not engage in any form of self promotion during this holy season.
Instead, I will shamelessly promote myself before it all starts, and humbly suggest for your lenten reading Redeeming Flesh: the Way of the Cross with Zombie Jesus.
Readers would probably be aware that I gave a Holy Week retreat to the seminarians of the Holy Spirit Seminary in Brisbane in 2014. The retreat looked at why our culture, even in its post-Christian form, nonetheless retains a fascination for the undead, in particular zombies. I argued then that the zombie, and the fascination with the undead more generally, is a theologically charged motif coursing through our urban existence. Our cities express a desire for transcendence, liturgy and an economy of salvation, even when explicit recognition of the divine, the liturgical and the salvific are long-dead in the contemporary imagination.
Moreover, I argued that only Jesus Christ and His Passion, death and resurrection can properly fulfil that desire. This He did by first plunging into the depths of that desire, and absorbing the ill-effects of that misdirected desire – a desire that leads unto death – by taking our place among the dead.
The book was subsequently launched by Prof. Tracey Rowland, who occupies the John Paul II Chair of Theology at the University of Notre Dame Australia. Among her kind comments were that the final chapter of the book, which looked at the zombie phenomenon through the lens of the Stations of the Cross, would make the book suitable reading during the Paschal season.
It is with these words in mind that I dust the book off the back of the collective reading mind and recommend once again this book to you as a suggestion for spiritual reading. Those who have bought the book already need to know that I am very grateful for your great show support for the work I do.
If you wanted a sample of the work, I have here a podcast provided at a talk I gave to the young adults of the Diocese of Broken Bay.
I’ll just put this down here, and step away slowly…