From goddesses and rabbits to theology and ‘Superstar’: 4 essential reads on Easter’s surprisingly …

How did rabbits get involved? Where did the name “Easter” come from, and why is the English word different from the way many other cultures refer to the holy day? Even theologically, exactly what the Resurrection means is not universally agreed upon.

And in fact, in most languages, the word for the holiday is related to Passover, since the Gospels say Jesus traveled to Jerusalem to celebrate the Jewish festival in the days leading up to his crucifixion.

The goddess’s son Eros was also depicted carrying a hare “as a symbol of unquenchable desire,” and even the Virgin Mary is often painted with a rabbit, to symbolise how she overcame desire.

“As a Baptist minister and theologian myself, I believe it is important to understand how Christians more generally, and Baptists in particular, hold differing views on the meaning of the resurrection,” wrote Jason Oliver Evans, a doctoral candidate at the University of Virginia.

“Jesus Christ Superstar,” the rock musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, struck some Christians as blasphemous with its modern-day telling of the Passion and “Jesus is cool” ethos.

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