Monday, December 14, 2009

Andrei Catharsis: retelling the Nativity as a fable

English author Jeanette Winterson has just published a book, The Lion, The Unicorn and Me: The Donkey´s Christmas Story which, according to the author was written after splitting up with partner, Deborah Warner a theatre director.

According to the book the donkey beats the Lion and the Unicorn (Heraldic Bearers for the UK, incidentally)in a reality show like contest for the right to carry Mary to Bethlehem.

The Guardian lets slip the real agenda here
Details of the events celebrated at Christmas can be rather blurred for young children, many of whom now spend as much school time studying Hindu, Muslim and Jewish customs and beliefs as they do the tenets of the Christian faith.

But does it matter if the nativity story is passed down the generations? Some parents without strong religious beliefs often welcome the mixed-faith basis of their local primary schools, but are less pleased to find their children are missing out on stories that are still the most influential in western culture: the tales from the Old and New Testaments. Now there is a solution for troubled agnostic and atheist mothers and fathers. They can read their favourite parables to their children at bedtime, alongside Winnie the Pooh and Peter Pan.

A growing number of children's publishers are bringing out books that re-tell the stories of the Bible so that children can read them at home, away from an overtly religious context.


The text of this book is available here.

And the way it has been conventionally told can be read here

I leave it up to you, gentle reader, to judge the theological and literary merits of each for yourselves.

1 comment(s):

Oswald Bastable said...

Plenty of traditional tales out there in audio format too.

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