'Homeless Jesus' statue sparks debate on meaning of Christianity

Francis blesses a casting

In a small college town 32km north of Charlotte, North Carolina, the statue of Homeless Jesus is provoking more conversation than a month of Sunday sermons, reports Ucanews.

The life-size sculpture depicting a figure asleep under a blanket on a park bench lies outside St Alban's Episcopal Church. The nail-scarred feet peeking out from under the blanket are the only indication that Canadian sculptor Timothy Schmalz is making a religious statement about Jesus.

The hollow, bronze piece bolted to the park bench is a $25,000 gift from a Church member intended to support public art. That's a small price to pay to get people thinking about what it means to be a Christian.

The Rev David Buck, the rector of St Alban's says: 'You love it, you hate it, it makes you think,' said Buck, who has been happily overwhelmed by the thousands of responses he's personally received or read online. 

St Alban's neighbour John Chesser, who walked past Homeless Jesus on the way to pick up his mail one sunny Sunday morning, had another response: 'It's a little creepy.'

It makes sense that the copy of Schmalz's original work, found a home outside St Alban's. Buck says the congregation of 800 members fills a 'liberal, high-Church niche,' is gay-friendly and embraces the arts and sciences. The Church draws a number of faculty, staff and students from Davidson College a mile or so down the road.

Photo: Pope Francis blesses another casting of the Homeless Jesus sculpture

FULL STORY 'Homeless Jesus' sparks debate on meaning of Christianity (Ucanews)

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