I have for some time viewed the trial and death of Christ as, in a sense, the Final Judgment, only backwards. Jews of the first century had a deep expectation that the Messiah was going to come in final judgment upon the earth and rescue Israel from its enemies and set up an everlasting kingdom. Indeed, even to the very end, Jesus’ own disciples were arguing over who was to have the higher rank in that kingdom.
I was reading that some of the big wigs in theory development are getting annoyed lately at the success of dystopian fiction. Since I am not a particular fan of such literature, I was thrilled at the possibility of acquiring some new potential stones to throw in that direction. Most annoyingly, however, the points made were not about dystopian fiction so much as about the experts thinking that what the general public really needs is more sunny sounding stories than ones of warning and woe.
“What happens to a dream deferred?” Langston Hughes asks in the opening line of his poem, “Harlem.” Taken with the title, the first line ties us up in place and language in just a very few words. A “dream deferred” was one of Hughes’ overriding themes, and “dream” is a hard word to read without hitching it to that adjective “American” or dropping it in place in Martin Luther King’s famous speech.