E.J. DiStefano Wing
StoneWall Society Pride
In The Arts Awards received:
2002 Pride In The Arts Award Ethos Award for "Beloved Testament"
By: E. J. DiStefano
Review By: Len
DiStefano sets the stage for some not too frequently read, heard or in some circles even thought perceptions of Jesus Christ and religious theory in general. "Beloved Testament" is an easy read and very enjoyable. Unique in style, yet familiar in its Biblical quotations and form. "Beloved Testament" reads very much like the Sunday school story books from childhood. The subject is presented by both the Disciple and the Carpenter. The Disciple in diary form and the Carpenter in poetic style. The later completes the prior with an Epilogue which brings the book to a close.
DiStefano begins with an analogy which sets the tone. Using the body and its parts as a basis, DiStefano makes a strong point on being "one with" without loosing the "one" as in the individuality of the singular. An excellent interpretation of the Christian teaching on the "Body of Christ" and its individual membership and identification. Not an outlandish or unheard of interpretation either. A similar analogy was used by a nun to explain our differences when I was taking Catechism in the fourth grade. So DiStefano's theory and story read very realistically to this recovering Catholic.
The theory of Christ's sexuality has been a topic of theological dispute for many years. The most prevailed of course was that he was celibate. Then there is the Mary Magdalene theory as well. There are many references in the Bible about the "beloved disciple" and also an area of little explanation. Peter Tatchell on his website in the religion section offers this:
"According to the US Biblical scholar, Morton Smith, of Columbia University, a fragment of manuscript he found at the Mar Saba monastery near Jerusalem in 1958, showed that the full text of St. Mark chapter 10 (between verses 34 and 35 in the standard version of the Bible) includes the passage:
"And the youth, looking upon him (Jesus), loved him and beseeched that he might remain with him. And going out of the tomb, they went into the house of the youth, for he was rich. And after six days, Jesus instructed him and, at evening, the youth came to him wearing a linen cloth over his naked body. And he remained with him that night, for Jesus taught him the mystery of the Kingdom of God"." Read the entire article at: Peter's website .
Therefore the story set down by DiStefano is not only written in a believable style but has actual possibility as a truth. Of course none of know these answers. However as speculation is the mainstay on this topic is seems DiStefano has created another possibility in a very personal way. I admit that many are not quick to read such topics. In seeking a reviewer for this piece proof was found there. I am glad to have made the review myself. Time was my only drawback at any rate. This is a great read for an evening, some quite time. "Beloved Testament" moves quickly and keeps you interested and challenged. A must for any GLBTI collection of reading materials. Also very pertinent to informed Christian collections. You can get your copy at Amazon Library, where you can also learn more about DiStefano: " a former conservative politician, and "gay basher" turned writer and social activist. He has had numerous articles published on the topic of homosexuality and religion and was a 1996 Editorís Choice Award winner. His acclaimed essay Manifesto to the Pharisees was recently featured in Whosoever magazine." From "Beloved Testament", About The Author.
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