What is Blasphemy?

I have a project I’m working on that is the retelling of human history from the Bible onward. Involved in the project is a redefining of God, which is risky to say the least.

First of all, God is not omniscient, benevolent, or omnipotent. Right off the bat, this makes for a very sticky situation for most Christians, as God is typically assumed to be all of these things, but as I find little textual evidence for them in the Bible, I’m choosing not to have them be true, for the sake of plot and character.

Also, Jesus is not divine.

Yup, there’s a bomb to drop on all Christian readers. Non-Christian readers might not mind, but I think my mother might faint if she reads it. Jesus is still a very important figure, but he is a prophet. He is also a sacrificial lamb, so to speak (so he retains that purpose), and has been shielded from sin by vigorously guarding angels, but he is not divine, nor is he the son of God.

I do have much about angels, both fallen and unfallen, and I’ve made a twist: there are female angels.

This is more than a little bit different from tradition. The idea came from reading Chaucer, where the Wife of Bath says that the bible would be different if told through a female viewpoint. I at first thought I could follow a family through the female line but god kills off everybody too often to pull that off, so my main character is a female angel, first created, Daughter of God.

And I can’t even discuss the most blasphemous bit, because it would give away major spoilers.

So, what is blasphemy? Much of how I portray God and Jesus in this project are what I truly believe, character-wise. It’s heterodox, but in an era of an increase of spirituality and a decrease in religiosity, is that so strange? Milton’s own depiction of God in Paradise Lost is heterodox anti-trinitarianist. And that’s one of the greatest literary works in history.

Will someone be offended? Probably. But is it really art if it doesn’t have the capacity to offend someone, if only a little bit?

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About Charlotte Blackwood

Charlotte Blackwood is a self-employed aspiring author working on perfecting her first novella/ first novel. She is a current student at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, CA. If you're looking for a reading list (someday she'll add her own works to the list), she's currently supporting Anna Karenina, anything by Dickens, anything by Tolkien, anything by JK Rowling, A Song of Ice and Fire, and The Hunger Games.

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