I've no idea if this is the conventional wisdom, or not, or if my theory will be dashed to pieces by the end of the book, but isn't John Singer a Christ figure, and the Greek friend he so loves (but is parted from) the Father?
Seems he fulfils a lot of criteria - in the South, but not of it, his uses and purposes are unclear to those around him, but they find him magnetic, and the four friends who visit him, well, perhaps they are different theologies, e.g. Mick longs for beauty, the Doctor for justice.
I dread a crucifixion in the offing. I almost don't want to listen to any more.
18 hours ago