Inspired by the Cotton Patch rewrites of Clarence Jordan, “The Gospel of Vic” was my attempt to rewrite the Gospel of Mark as a way of processing what was going on politically and theologically in Melbourne, 1999. I wrote it as an anniversary gift for Greg and Elvira Hewson who were living at Urban Seed at the time near the height of the heroin epidemic. It was a pretty tough time.
I interspersed their copy with a bunch of political cartoons I had collected over the course of the year to justify / further contextualise my choices. It’s unashamedly rooted in the historical moment of 1999 Melbourne so if you weren’t around you’ll find some bits bewildering…..a bit like reading the gospels themselves really.
I gave myself the discipline of changing as little as possible to the original text, so some of it reads awkwardly. Since writing it I’m stunned at how things alluded to in my rewrite could be seen to have come to pass….hmmmmm! I’m sure no Clarence Jordan but it was a good and very revealing discipline for me at the time.
gospel of vic includes a short interview I did at the time for a university based Christian street mag.