Nick Cave is among 12 writers who have contributed forewords to books of the Bible, which will be published in individual pocket editions by Canongate Press in Edinburgh in October. Cave joins a roster of heavyweight names that includes A S Byatt and Dr Jonathan Miller.
Cave’s contribution is an essay on the Gospel according to St Mark. “I heard about it and contacted the publishers and asked about doing the Book of Mark,” he told NME. “It’s just always been my favourite Gospel, it’s the one I approached first, the first one that was written. Out of the four Gospels, Mark’s seems to be the most direct and the least fanciful. Christ as a character comes across at his most charismatic, brutal and beautiful. So it was a chance to write about that, really.”
Cave often writes about theology and the meaning behind Christian festivals such as Easter in The Witness, his fan club’s magazine, though he is not a practising Christian. “I believe in God. I just don’t believe in the church’s interpretation of it. I find that a lot of what the church talks about is just as far removed from the original word of Christ as can be,” he said. “I have mixed reactions to things like this. On one hand I like the fact that the Bible is difficult and obscure and hard to read. At the same time, I think it’s good that people can read these (new editions) and find it less formidable. It’s nice that I have a chance to write about things like this.”
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds play the annual Liss Ard Festival in Ireland on September 4. There are no plans for any other UK dates or releases this year.