From The Toronto Star:
Jesus is hot. Over the past few months, the dreamy-looking and fanatically adored religious icon has crossed over, born again as a full-fledged international pop celebrity… In fact, many believe Jesus is fast becoming the ultimate pop celebrity. Though church attendance in many mainline denominations is down, The Da Vinci Code and The Passion are drawing huge crowds. (According to Doubleday, there are now more than 6 million copies of The Da Vinci Code in print, making the year-old, still-in-hardcover book the fastest-selling adult fiction title ever.) “He is very deeply embedded in American culture,” says author Fox, a history professor at the University of Southern California. “He has made it into our pantheon of heroes”… Theologians refer to much of this hype as the “de-sacralization” of Christ. Poseable Jesus action figures are for sale on the Internet, and there are even Jesus bobblehead dolls. Whether they are meant to enhance children’s religiosity or are simply kitschy toys is in the heart of each buyer, explains Dr. Christopher Lind, director of the Toronto School of Theology.