By Mayuk Saha
God has always been in the imagination of man; people imagine him/her according to their faiths and the social paradigms they exist in, and he/she takes the shape of their imaginations.
As a result the first Gods were forces of nature imagined as rulers, or even better, animals. For example: the carrion jackals of the Sahara became the harbingers of Death, and later Anubis, Death himself.
In Eastern India, God was imagined as a tree stump, something that was incomplete in itself, but completed everything else as a source of everything on Earth; he was called the lord of the universe, literally, Jagannath.
Jesus is the deity who by far has the most number of followers, and it is increasing especially in places like Korea and China. People have, for centuries, imagined him as a blonde-ish man of middle years and fair complexion, oftentimes with blue eyes and fair skin too.
This image stayed the longest in public imagination because of the simple fact that the Europeans, who would go on to conquer the Earth and take their [Son of] God with them to their new frontiers, imagined him in their own image.
But is that really what Jesus looked like. Even if I do not delve into Science, the answer to many people would be no; the Chinese imagine him and his apparel in a certain way, Indians do it in another and Africans another.
But the image I described of “our lord” would be the most common one, finding place in calendar art and even on film.