9th out of 100 books — 2 voters
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Jesus and Empire: The Kingdom of God and the New World Disorder
Building on his earlier studies of Jesus, Galilee, and the social upheavals in Roman Palestine, Horsley focuses his attention on how Jesus' proclamation of the kingdom of God relates to Roman and Herodian power politics. In addition he examines how modern ideologies relate to Jesus' proclamation.
Paperback, 178 pages
Published November 1st 2002 by FORTRESS PRESS
(first published October 31st 2002)
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I wanted to like this book more than I ended up doing. Horsley's overall point is well taken - that Jesus' teachings are too often co-opted by individualism and contemporary philosophical categories, including a split between religion and politics. He wants us to return to the covenantal, Jewish Jesus who was political and railed against power and empire. On these points Horsley is quite good. Unfortunately, his methodology is suspect. An acceptance of the supposed Q document source sours the go ...more
An incredibly important book, it should be required reading for all Christians interested in understanding the historical Jesus in his social context. It provides effective critiques of both conservative and liberal views on the historical Jesus, plus a chapter outlining the damning parallels between America and Rome vis-à-vis militant imperialism and economic exploitation.
Horsley brings an interesting spin on Jesus' stance towards the Roman empire. Horsley goes to great lengths arguing that Jesus was confronting and condemning the currupt Roman system of power. Often his reasoning is a bit of a stretch. I loved the chapter on the founding father's two metaphors for the new world.
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“Since September 11, 2001, however, we can no longer rest comfortably with such domesticated pictures of Jesus. We can no longer ignore the impact of Western imperialism on subordinated peoples and the ways in which peoples whose lives have been invaded sometimes react. The "coincidental" historical analogy is too disquieting, that is, that the Roman Empire had come to control the ancient Middle East, including Galilee and Judea, where Jesus operated.”More quotes…