Tuesday, January 21, 2020


I wonder if anyone else has also noticed this: that people often prefer to say "Jesus" rather than "Christ". And when someone does attempt to say "Christ" in casual conversation they almost trip over their own tongue...

Watch Christopher Hitchens or Richard Dawkins dismantle religion - they will never say the word "Christ" during their many attacks. Even for these hardened atheists, this name seems to be off-limits.

My sense is that this is because most people have a deep unconscious sense, even if they are nonreligious, of the difference between these two names. "Jesus" designates a person exterior to myself and everyone else - I can mention his name in casual conversation like any other name. But "Christ" on the other hand, whether one is religious or not, is not just a name.

The way I experience it (perhaps its just me) choosing to say the word "Christ" instead of "Jesus" is tantamount to simultaneously exposing something intimate in myself as well as exposing something intimate in the other person - without warning or consent. When I say "Christ" it is like addressing a being who is at the same time me, the other person - and Christ - all at once.


  1. I suppose that atheists do not believe in any concept of Christ, although they may believe in the historical reality of a personal called Jesus.

    I tend to talk of Jesus or Jesus Christ, because my understanding of the divine nature of Jesus differs from that of most other Christians. Christ-ness is a thing that differs greatly, even among those who are real Christians.

    The first serious schism recorded by history - which still remains - was between the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox ('Monophysite') churches - concerning how to describe the divinity of Jesus: i.e. the definition of 'Christ'. But both churches have (albeit only in part, of course) remained real-faithful Christians, so (in my book) the dispute did not matter *ultimately*.

    Steiner regarded Jesus and Christ as completely separable concepts - with several other Christs than the man who was born in Palestine circa 1 AD, and that Jesus Christ two fused natures (one having had multiple reincarnations).

    My point is that when an Anthroposophist says Christ, he means something different from a Roman Catholic, or Mainstream Protestant - yet both can (and should) unite on the divinity of Jesus while differing on the explanation of that divinity.

    Same Jesus, different Christ...

    1. Thanks for these insights. What strikes me is that the phenomenon I describe happens with non-religious people and in non-religious contexts.

    2. The opposite in my case -- I have tended to prefer 'Christ' in conversation, with an aversion to 'Jesus' because that feels associated in my mind with the 'Jesus is my buddy' flavour of post-evangelical devotion.

      BUT that kind of devotion culture is nowhere near prevalent any more and it's clear according to Bruce Charlton's analysis I should get over it already!

  2. Yes, I too had this realisation. Thanks for expressing it. Owen


The Archetype of all Ideas

  Our capacity to think about nature objectively is at the same time natures capacity to express itself as IDEA. Our capacity to then think...