Admittedly, his face has adorned more religious imagery than any other in history.
But now Jesus is being put forward as an icon of an entirely different sort – in the world of fashion.
The Church of England has given its blessing to London Fashion Week with an official video making the Biblical case for the clothing industry.
Shrugging off the “sackcloth and ashes” image of clergy’s puritan forebears, it argues that – despite criticism of the industry over size zero models and cases of sweatshop factories – fashion and design are ultimately an expression of God-given creativity.
In one extract, the Church’s de-facto catwalk chaplain says fashion designers have told him that they draw inspiration from church interiors, stained glass windows and even Jesus’s cloaks.
The Rev Peterson Feital, the Diocese of London’s “Missioner to the Creative Industries”, said many had been drawn to the “beautiful clothes” Jesus is often depicted wearing.
“Designers ask me about fashion,” said the Brazilian-born Rev Feital, who also runs “Haven+” a charity working with people in the fashion and entertainment industries.
“They are all so interested when they walk into a church building or a cathedral and they see the stained glass windows and what they see there are beautiful figures and Jesus wearing beautiful clothes – a cloak and all that kind of stuff.
“So right there in the centre of our worship there are so many elements in which fashion belongs in that conversation between church and culture.”
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