Life on the outside
Looking back on his experiences with the Church of the Last Testament, Jonas says what surprised him most was his own reaction to the community.
"I almost felt that if I didn't have the various anchors I have at home, I could easily go and live there," he says. "I was moved by their way of life and their community and, temporarily at least, I could understand what it feels like to have that faith. I got to a point where I could really feel it. In a way, for me, that was mission accomplished.
"Most people's reaction is to think they're strange and far out, but the more time I spent digging, the more I found it difficult to decide what makes their beliefs and their Messiah any less plausible than any of the other things people believe."
Jonas says the project also taught him something about himself. "These people have the fortitude and strength, and sometimes the bravery, not to live along the mainstream trajectory," he says. "I think maybe some force in me is uncomfortable about living as conventionally as I do. There's something to be admired about life on the outside, and that's partly what fascinates me."