Jonas Bendiksen grew up in a “godless home” in Tønsberg, Norway, which makes him an unlikely candidate to photograph the messiah, let alone six of them. But this is what he has spent the past three years doing: chronicling the lives of men – and they are all men – who claim to be Jesus returned to Earth, from Siberia to the Philippines, Japan to Devon.
A member of the Magnum photo agency, 39-year-old Bendiksen describes himself as ardently scientific: “Faith has always been very hard for me to conceptualise,” he says. He thinks it might be this lack of preconceptions that has allowed him “to go and touch divinity itself”. He has no interest in mocking or defrocking his Jesus claimants: “My mission was to say, ‘OK, if one were to accept the prophecy of Jesus’s return, why wouldn’t it be this guy?’”
Link : Jesus Christ superstars: meet the modern-day messiahs