Powerful and moving readings, stories and poems for Easter
The accounts of scapegoating, of power and violence and hope found in the gospels will always be current and significant. The story of Jesus Christ and of those who surrounded him remains a defining narrative of our time.
Using artistic and theological licence, Rachel Mann writes with the voices of the characters involved in the biblical accounts of passion and resurrection. Unafraid to explore the darkest aspects evoked by these events, she says:
‘The intention of both the more humorous and the visceral stories is to play with abiding themes of death and new life in ways which – in church contexts at least – break unusual ground. Some readers may find some of the language crude and offensive. It is not my intention to offend or outrage, but … to indicate that there are places and experiences where blasphemy is prayer and prayer is blasphemy.’
The Risen Dust is divided into four sections. The first attempts to tell the story of the Easter Event using first-person monologues, whereas the second comprises fifteen new poems written for the Stations of the Cross due to be on display in Manchester Cathedral during Lent 2014. The other two sections contain reflections on The Seven Last Words as well as stories and poems which attempt to look at what passion and resurrection might mean in a modern setting.
Although The Risen Dust is very much a book focused on Passiontide and Easter, the author hopes readers might also find it useful all year round. She says: ‘The events of Jesus’ death and resurrection are at the heart of our faith. I hope this book might encourage people of faith and none to reflect on them again.’
Rachel Mann is an Anglican parish priest and writer. She is Resident Poet at Manchester Cathedral and her work has been widely published in magazines, anthologies, newsprint and a previous book, Dazzling Darkness.