Andy Walton looks at whether there is a "Religious Right" emerging in Britain
The Independent: After 103 years, organisation changes oath to welcome 'all girls, of all faiths, and none'
'Superstar' may engage public imagination with religion
28th June 2012
“Who do you think you are?” might be the title of an excellent television series, but when I come across it my mind still detects the haunting melodies of Jesus Christ Superstar and the question they pose: who is this Jesus?
It is hard to believe that Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice wrote the rock opera over 42 years ago. Since then it has enjoyed multiple outings on stage and screen and been the subject of many recordings. Somehow it hasn’t outgrown its appeal. I wonder why not.
Well, it is about to hit the public consciousness again in the summer when Lloyd Webber will run a search on ITV for a new 'rock star’ to play Jesus in a stadium tour through the late summer and autumn. The rest of the cast has already been announced: Tim Minchin as Judas Iscariot, Melanie Chisholm as Mary and Chris Moyles as Herod.
When this was announced the response was varied. Tim Rice was up for the tour, but described the 'search for Jesus’ as 'tacky’. You can see his point. After all, isn’t this just another easy pop at an easy target – Christian sensibilities – or another rather obvious way for a very wealthy man to keep a show going and cash in a bit more?
Well, believe what you want about it but I think it has a lot going for it. Surely a church that is constantly mocked in the media for being unimaginative or obsessed with the wrong things could find the idea of 'the lord looking for the Lord’ at least vaguely intriguing? Isn’t the notion of 'searching for Jesus’ in itself rich with potential for a bit of creative engagement with popular culture on its own terms?
Nick Baines | The Daily Telegraph
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