”Läs kamrat Jesus i Söndagsskolorna!” Mottagandet av Sven Wernströms Kamrat Jesus i Sverige
Sven Wernström’s children’s book Kamrat Jesus (Comrade Jesus, 1971) depicts Jesus as a revolutionary leader. The author’s intention was to generate a debate on the Bible’s way of describing Jesus. When published, Kamrat Jesus was treated in thirty-two reviews and polemical articles, published in daily papers, Christian Magazines and periodicals for teachers of religion, librarians and Sunday-school teachers. The 1970s is generally described as a decade dominated by the agenda of the left, and in line with this the majority of the reviews published in daily papers convey a positive view of the work. However, in this article, all the reviews are studied, and then another image emerges. The periodicals that are aimed at teachers of religion, librarians and church leaders ignore the work to a high extent, or reject it due to aesthetical considerations or its lack of concordance with current Bible research. Thus, Kamrat Jesus, despite the political climate, did not fulfil the author’s aim. The article shows that in literary surveys and special-feature issues on children’s literature and religion, the work was ignored for the remainder of the 1970s. Presenting Jesus as a revolutionary was thus not commonly accepted even during this left-wing decade.
Authors retain copyright of their work, with first publication rights granted to The Swedish Institute for Children's Books. However, authors are required to transfer copyrights associated with commercial use to the Publisher.