“I met Jesus” was on the bestsellerlist for well over a year.
What does a non-believing journalist ask Jesus when he appears right in front of him?
Journalist Charlotte Rørth wasn’t a religious or even a spiritually-minded person. Far from it. So when the son of God appeared before her in a church vestry in the Spanish town of Ubeda and spoke – not once, but twice – it came as a bolt from the blue.
The experiences catapulted Rørth into physical and mental turmoil, calling her modern rationalism into question, rocking the foundations of her science-based world view – and sending her on the quest that forms the basis of this extraordinary memoir.
In an attempt to get to the root of what happened to her in Spain, Charlotte Rørth researches Jesus in both literature and in history, questions experts in psychiatry and epilepsy, sifts through international research, meets Protestant and Catholic priests in Denmark and Spain, dissects the psycho-spiritual phenomenon known as a kundalini rising, and reads the works of some of the world’s wisest and most literate spiritual practitioners, among them the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the Spanish writer and nun Teresa of Avila, the Swedish bishop Martin Lind and the American priest Cynthia Bourgeault.
She also writes candidly about the effect that encountering and researching Jesus had on her own psyche, and its impact on her family and wider social circle.
I Met Jesus is a personal and existential exploration of faith in a Europe in which religious apparitions are deemed intimate to the point of taboo: phenomena that those who experience them will downplay in order to avoid being labeled unbalanced or borderline insane.
Rørth’s memoir received massive press coverage and has remained on the Danish bestseller list for more than a year after its launch in January 2015. Charlotte Rørth has received thousands of letters and emails from readers, and is now one of Denmark’s most sought-after public speakers. I Met Jesus has struck a chord in the modern world, giving many people –non-believers included – the courage to recognize faith as an integral part of our shared history and community, and to champion personal choice at a time when the urgency of values such as curiosity, kindness and tolerance has never been starker.
More praise for “I met Jesus”:
“Charlotte Rørth manages to relate her findings to a modern existence deeply influenced by the scientific mind-set (…) It deserves to be read.”
Sørine Gotfredsen, Kristeligt Dagblad, (the Christian daily)
“A literary cut above the rest.”
Bettina Heltberg, Politiken (the biggest daily, very secular)
“Enthusiasm radiates from its eloquent pages.”
Hans Gregersen, NORDJYSKE (the biggest regional daily)
“… An admirably brave book…Bubbling through it is a stream of all-embracing, non-proselytizing joy which renders it simply plausible in a way which can’t fail to impress, while providing food for thought.”
Jens Bærentsen, Weekendavisen (the intellectually most respected weekly paper)
”I was captivated from the very first page of this fabulous journey into a world usually inhabited by dubious preachers and excitable fanatics. Detours Charlotte Rørth never takes.”
Chr. Rimestad, Jydske Vestkysten (the 2nd largest regional paper)
“Charlotte Rørth has done an immense amount of research in order to understand her experiences scientifically and religiously.”
Maja Arthy, Katolsk Orientering (the Catholic magazine)
“The day I met Jesus” is the title given the book in Dutch (pictured) published June 2017 alongside Elena Ferrante at www.wereldbibliotheek.nl
The Spanish title is “When the light breaks through”, published March same year at www.maeva.es
The Norwegians kept the same title as in Danish: “I met Jesus”. www.paradigmeskifte.nu were the first to translate and published in June 2015.
Swedish Polaris owned by the Danish Politikens Forlag published in 2017 www.politikensforlag.dk/bokfoerlaget-polaris/c-215
Spring 2018 the book was published in German at the Random House publisher Gütersloher Verlagshaus: www.zukunftsfreude.com
Kathrin Scheel is my international agent www.thisbooktravels.com
In the early spring 2017 I wrote a column in the newspaper Information about the reactions upon “I met Jesus”: “The fact that there’s a hunger for stories like mine tells me that people are yearning not for strong leaders with answers, but for a community in which they can safely share something that is not just difficult to talk about, but for which we barely have the vocabulary. These discussions about the spirit –something we have all heard of, but know so little about – are breaking new ground. Beginning such a conversation, or taking part in one, is a big step: a leap of faith in itself.”
Read the whole column here
Interview in Jyllands-Posten
“(The author) possesses the most admirable journalistic features: open-mindedness, curiosity and perceptiveness. It rightly deserves be on the bestseller-list. “
Five stars from Johs. H. Christensen, Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten (the second-biggest daily, very secular)
“We met Jesus” by journalist Charlotte Roerth, published October 9th 2017, headed for a huge succes with excellent reviews and long interviews in the most serious and secular press in Denmark. And from its very first week it, too, was on the bestsellerlists.
Three of the biggest daily papers ran run major pieces on the book that states with well researched documentation that half of us have some kind of religious or spiritual experience during our lives. We just do not dare to talk about it.
In Denmark they are beginning to dare. Being one of the most secular countries in the world this is a huge step forward for freedom of speech.
Berlingske Tidende ran a long story this summer. https://www.b.dk/interview/den-dag-jeg-moedte-jesus
On the Saturday after the publication Jyllands-Posten wrote a three page interview and a short version on the front page of the whole paper and the front page af the culture section.
The interview with the author were about the succes in breaking a taboo, and the two men talked about their fear of being riduiculed and their decision to move forward. Jesper Borup is a respected political journalist. Daniel Baun is head of the organisation Youth for Christ but had not dared to stand up against the christian establishment.
The most culturally and politically respected Danish paper, the weekly Weekendavisen, states in its review, that the author is “respectful and responsive” towards the people she interviews about their experiences “without loosing sight of her project” which is underlined by “the conversations with knowledgeable people, in which Rørth brings her research and reflections to a new level and brings on refreshingly new perspectives.” The book is “thought-provoking” and “captivating” as the first book and “deserves just as many readers”.
The extemely succesful christian paper, Kristeligt Dagblad wrote a full page article with four deeply respected commentators along the interview and a great front page.
The subject here was the how the people with experiences should not feel ridiculed to silence. It was a big move for the paper that is traditionally non-tolerant towards spirituality.
The biggest Danish regional paper NORDJYSKE wrote in its review that is is “exemplary” how the author “takes her time to go in-depth, to research thoroughly and shows the necessary seriousness in setting the tone for writing about experiences”. The writing is “beatiful” and it is “excellent” the way theologicans and scientists are invited in as a part of the story” making the book give a “well-founded and nuanced view on something as obsessive as meetings with Jesus must be”.
The leftist paper, Information, published a column by the author this summer and several womens magazines recommend the book and have brought interviews last year, displaying how much the taboo is being broken by just two books.
Charlotte Rørth, born 1962 in Copenhagen, holds a degree in journalism and has 25 years’ experience as a business and cultural journalist, editor and commentator as well as heading and hosting cultural events.
She is currently on the staff of NORDJYSKE Medier and lives in Aalborg with her dog, Coco, and her husband in his grandparent’s house on top of the hill above the city and fjord. Their sons are now grown-up.
She grew up in Copenhagen in leftwing scientific and literary circles, has always read an incredible list of books and prefers to travel, where she can communicate in depth as well as drink vino fino.
The well-known author Liz Jensen www.lizjensen.com has expertly translated excerpts from my book.
Read part of the chapter about my first encounter with Jesus here and read about my meetings with doctors afterwards here.