I forgot to mention that this discussion about Anne Rice's new novel is no longer an mere academic exercise. Mrs. Rice stopped by the rainforest canopy of solitude to leave this message:
Thank you for your interesting discussion of my conversion (return to
Catholicism), and my book Christ the Lord. The infancy legends I use in the book are not gnostic. I used nothing that contradicted the four canonical gospels. As a Catholic, as a believer, as a novelist, I find the Jesus of faith to be my obsession. The identity of Joachim and Anne do also come from non-canonical sources. My belief is Jesus was Divine from the beginning but He did experience being an infant, a child, a man. And He "emptied" Himself as Paul says for us. I
took this to mean that He did not always use His knowledge of all things. Obviously He came down to earth to truly be human, and it does seem, from Luke's statement that Jesus "grew in wisdom and stature" and from other statements in the gospels that Jesus valued human experience. I chose to write this novel because of my personal belief in Christ, and my desire to put any gifts I possessed at His service. So far the reception has been amazingly good. I knew
there would be some criticism, but I never knew people would be interested in this book. I'm thankful. This is my life's work. Take care, Anne Rice.
Needless to say, I most flattered and appreciative of her comments and insights. Again, the most essential thing I want to stress here is I am very happy that you have returned to Holy Mother Church. I am a convert to the Faith and love our Lord and His Holy Church so much. It makes my heart swell with happiness to hear someone being drawn back, by a thousand subtle hooks and lines, into her fold.
I hope you understand from what I have posted here that my concerns are not the same as criticisms. As a fellow Christian, it is my hope that anything that might lead you astray will be avoided. That's a concern because it may or may not prove applicable, and quite frankly, that applies to all of my readers. A criticism of your work would require a copy of the book in front of me so that I could reference this or that passage. So unless you are going to send a pre-release copy for my review (which is not being requested) you shouldn't expect criticism.
Okay, now this is really the last post until I see the book in print. Again, I hope you will come back and visit us at CRM. And as always you can reach me but the email address in the side bar. Have a happy All Saints' Day.