This paper defines the ways in which contemporary Arab authors, both Muslim and Christian, employ the image of Jesus Christ as a literary figure in their creative fiction.
I begin with a brief survey of the medieval and early modern periods, noting the various stances with regard to Christ taken by Muslim authors, whether theological, polemical-disputational, or Sufi-devotional.
I then describe the secularization of the poetic figure of Christ in the period following the Second World War, and how this secularization combined with the popularization of Tammuz/vegetation-god symbolism, under the influence of T.S. Eliot's poetry and James Frazer's "Golden Bough", to result in an efflorescence of mythological imagery among Christian Arab and Muslim Arab poets alike.
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