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Render to Caesar

This is definitely the best reply Jesus ever made to an attempt to trap him with words. It not only escapes the trap, but broadens the whole context of the conversation, putting forward profound ideas about the nature of human institutions and their relationship to the divine. Nevertheless, when I first sat down to write this play, I was worried that I wouldn’t have enough material for an entire play. The plays have been more concerned with the human drama unfolding in Jerusalem, and I didn’t think this episode would add much to that. (There isn’t even a parabolic attack on the priests!) Then I started writing and realized that not all the disciples would necessarily be happy with what Jesus said, and even more surprisingly, that some of his enemies might be okay with it. And then, there was also the momentum from previous plays to push various characters further along their paths. (Though I must admit: I was surprised by Joanna’s choice at the very end.)

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