Jesus and Empire: The Kingdom of God and the New World Disorder

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

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  • Paperback
  • 178 pages
  • Jesus and Empire: The Kingdom of God and the New World Disorder
  • Richard A. Horsley
  • English
  • 10 January 2019
  • 9780800634902

10 thoughts on “Jesus and Empire: The Kingdom of God and the New World Disorder

  1. says:

    I wanted to like this book 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 good in the book, but the problems then begin to compound upon one another He pits Jesus as a peasant prophet against the Jewish rulers, arguing that Jesus was relying not on the OT nor attempting to scrape away the encrustations of Pharisaical legalism from that Old Testament, but rather relying on a peasant low village tradition that was in competition with the Jewish rulers who maintained the high tradition of the Old Testament He then pits Gospel against Gospel, trying to argue that the anti imperial sections are of the authentic Jesus while the later Kingdom passages were added later to justify the Church s acceptance and compromise with imperial power Heh Just because somebody has a Ph.D doesn t mean they know what s up This sort of chopping I have absolutely no time for Yet there were a good number of insights scattered throughout, enough to warrant three stars, but definitely for the reader willing to pick through a book for gems.

  2. says:

    Richard Horsley s well written book is for all Christians, academics, and regular readers alike He promotes a contextual understanding of Jesus proclamation of the Kingdom of God unimpeded with modern accretions of philosophical ideals and ideologies such as the American love affair with separation of Church and State that would not be present in the Ancient Near Eastern theatre in which Christ operated He does a good job explaining the Kingdom of God in its own context and the Roman imperial context of occupied Israel This is mostly a dis order in contrast to the righteousness of the Kingdom The message of Jesus cries for a radical change that impacts both the individual, the family, and the community Political change is also a natural result of such a movement In an interesting segment, Horsley spends time comparing the modern American system against the Kingdom of God, and it, not surprisingly, does not end up passing the bar, forming a disorder with many similarities with the Roman one of Jesus day I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in learning about the message Jesus bore in the gospels and its original contextual meaning as well as the extrapolation application involving contemporary American society.

  3. says:

    Genuinely Thought ProvokingWait Are We the baddies Finally, a work that slices through generational theology and gives voice to that uncomfortable lingering feeling I ve had floating about Excellent read.

  4. says:

    Horsley begins by dismantling the ways in which our contemporary culture views and subsequently understands Jesus He aptly shows how the lenses through which we view Jesus, and the conclusions we draw as a result, present a picture of Jesus that represents our priorities rather than those of the first century peasant we have come to revere and worship He suggests a new way of understanding the historical Jesus The contextual relational approach, based on understanding the context in which the historical Jesus lived That context was one of tremendous economic oppression, and the subsequent downward pressure exerted in the form of economic injustice from the rich and powerful to the poor The Roman empire extorted a huge financial obligation on the peasantry and this in turn led to common people losing farms, vineyards and gardens and orchards, becoming enslaved through indebtedness and being, by virtue of the economic and military power being wielded to the Romans, continually kept in abject poverty Further, Jesus spoke out against the temple system in which the powerful elite had been corrupted and compromised by Roman rule, and against the Pharisees, for much the same reasons Jesus agenda was not, Horsley claims, a spiritual agenda, as much as throwing off the Roman yoke and restoring Israel to it s Davidic place of power Jesus was to accomplish this by ushering in the Kingdom of God, a way of life based on the justice of God Although so much of Horsley s writing is insigthful, it s difficult to accept that Jesus mission was solely and entirely to throw off the yoke of Roman rule Yes, his teaching addresses the excess of empire, but those addresses take the form of speaking against injustice politically, economically and practically At best we might say his goal to overthrow the Roman rule was ancillary to his mission Jesus focus on the Kingdom of God seems rather to be a focus on living with righteousness and justice that is, to love God and love one s neighbor Certainly, as Horsely so aptly illustrates, Jesus work was an actual threat to the power structures of the day as the Kingdom of God promised to dissolve the very basis economic injustice political collusion with the Romans upon which that power was based I suspect the mission of Jesus was to usher in a new way of living in which justice and righteousness are real, earthbound concepts to be practiced in the here and now The overthrow of Roman rule and the restoration of Israel may have been anticipated results of the Kingdom of God coming to life, but not necessarily the purpose of his work I might be wrong about that Horsley s Jesus and Empire is a fascinating look into the political, economic, social, political and cultural context in which Jesus lived and worked It ably shows how Jesus, as a product of his time and place, offered a message shaped by the injustices of his world, and actively sought to resist the power structures of the Roman empire This is an thought provoking, paradigm shifting and powerful book, and is a must read for anyone who cares about social justice as the message of Jesus.

  5. says:

    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 vis militant imperialism and economic exploitation.

  6. says:

    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.

  7. says:

    After the historical Jesus follows the political Jesus.

  8. says:

    It was ok I think he assumed everything Jesus said was about social or political relations I think this was because he believed Jesus was a prophet unlike Moses and Elijah.

  9. says:

    Highly recommended as an introduction to a social critical understanding of Jesus It is pretty readable, short and life changing.

  10. says:

    Good analysis of the Roman context of Jesus, but nothing very new for me and quickly overshadowed by the next book I read.

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