posted on Jun, 16 2006 @ 03:03 AM
First of all, let me say I'm very impressed by your handle. iiiiiiiiiiiii indeed.
I think you need to clarify your post a little. Christians believe Jesus was divine. Muslims believe he was the greatest of the prophets apart from
Mohammed himself. Obviously these ideas (especially the former) have had massive influence on those who believe in them. So that's one way in which
Jesus was 'important and influential', and it's purely religious.
Jesus is also the focal point of one of the great world religions, a religion that has had huge worldwide influence because it was part of Western
technological civilization, which has spread across and come to dominate the planet. Does that qualify as a religious or secular kind of influence?
Christian morality strongly influences modern secular morality. Is this part of Jesus's 'religious' influence, or would it be a different kind of
Then there's the prevalence of Christian imagery in secular art, literature and other high culture. Is this 'religious' or not?
What about popular culture? Does Tom Waits's Chocolate Jesus represent a religious or secular influence? What about when someone says,
'Christ, I've had it with flame wars on ATS?' Is that coming from Jesus' religious influence, or is it secular?
As far as I can see, Jesus is a religious figure (whether real or fictitious is an argument for another thread). He is influential because he is a
religious figure. Therefore his influence, even on secular matters, is always religious.
However, that influence is pervasive throughout Western culture and well beyond. You'll find it almost everywhere. When a gaoler spies on the
prisoner in the cell, he does it by looking through a Judas window. A secret compartment in an old English country house is sometimes called a
priest's hole. Tori Amos sings a song called Crucify whose other lyrics have nothing to do with Jesus, but we see the influence of the
Jesus narrative in the metaphor.
Maybe you could clarify what you mean?