[ by Charles Cameron — Egyptian presidency, Mahdist candidate, Center for Millennial Studies, Christ candidate ]
I ran across this reasonably remarkable web image while following a link from the tail end of Tim Furnish‘s comments on the Egyptian presidential election, and can’t really comment on the candidate himself, either as Mahdi-claimant or as (failed) aspirant to the Presidency.
I am, however, put in mind of my days with the Center for Millennial Studies at Boston University, and a fellow I met at one of their conferences there called Chris King. But I’ll let another friend of mine from those days make the introduction — here’s Damian Thompson, writing in the Daily Telegraph a while back:
I spent the evening of December 31, 1999, climbing up the Mount of Olives, only to be confronted by a wild-haired messiah figure in a patchwork robe walking down the slope. That was surprising enough, but my jaw really dropped open when he said: “Hi, Damian.” Turned out we’d met a few weeks earlier, at a conference organised by the Center for Millennial Studies in Boston. The “messiah” was a Kiwi maths lecturer called Chris King, which he explained also meant “Christ the King”, though only in a complex esoteric way. (He was a lovely guy, actually.)
Chris King was, as Damian reports, both a likeable guy and an academic, and what I found most appealing about his self-presentation — beyond the very fact of his turning up to attend a conference on Millennial Studies — was that his view, essentially a gnostic one, was that we are all Christs in potentia, if we would but realize it… wait for it…
and his consequent request that his claim to messianic status should be peer-reviewed!