What's up with that ubiquitous Euro-Jesus anyway? Why is he on sale in China like that (the photo above, which accompanies this article in today's Times, depicts "Chinese Catholics," includes Euro-Jesus.)
I never understood why a historical Jesus was never pictured as, you know, middle-eastern looking. Sure, yeah, whatever, there's historically brown haired semites, and what-not, but really, what "biblical" evidence is there that Jesus looked like Jurgen Prochnow?
I have a theory about this, and it's not a pretty theory: Euro-Jesus is sold in places like Coca-Cola: it's an exotic Western thing.
Christians have used an African Jesus to close the sale too with believers; and I suppose there are Asian Jesii. But I find it odd that Catholics are using Euro-Jesus in China, and there likely is a reason.
On the grounds of the Daibosatsu Temple in upstate New York, there sits a statue of a very European-American, 20th century "Buddha." There really isn't a problem making buddhas and boddhisattvas of any ethnic group one would want, because being a buddha isn't limited to one individual or one ethnic group.
I would hope that Buddha isn't being sold in the US as an "exotic Eastern thing," and I certainly would abhor - can't even comprehend- what McBuddhism would look like.
But frankly, I don't care, my own reasons for practice have to do with experience and results and who I am rather than the exotic.
I would hope that Christians get the same thing out of their path, but given all the "pointing to outside," I'm not so sure.