Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A strange Resurrection

I've just finished reading The Resurrection of the Body by Maggie Hamand. It was sent to me by a friend whose recommendations I trust, but for a while I wondered why I was reading it. Beginning with an apparent murder on Good Friday, this short novel explores belief, incredulity and loss of faith in the course of investigating a mystery, and is written in the simple, direct style of someone recounting a story they have gone over so often that all artifice has gone.

I read the greater part of the book today, having reached the point where I couldn't bear not to know what the outcome would be. I had grown accustomed to the dry style of narrative, to the short chapters with their artless titles. And now that it's done I find myself wishing it wasn't, and wanting to go on - except that the end of this story can't be written in twentieth-century terms. For how would we cope with the Resurrection? Would we not all be like the first century sceptics who said the disciples had hidden the body of Christ to prove a point? In giving us this very ordinary Anglican priest with all his flaws and hangups, Hamand has given us the chance to look again at our own beliefs - and perhaps our own deepest needs as well.


  1. Alison10:15 PM

    So glad you share my enjoyment of this! I like your analysis - very acute. Have emailed you photie of author.

  2. Thanks for bringing the book to my attention. It will not be on my list of favorites, but I am glad to have read it and to see some of my own striggles with faith reflected. In reflecting on the story a week after reading it, I see that the opposite of faith is not doubt but certainty. The desire for certainty is strong in us, but in the really important matters it can be very destructive. Even "I know that my redeemer lives...." is not statement of certain knowledge but of trusting faith.