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by Richard A. Horsley
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Bible Study & Reference
  • Author:
    Richard A. Horsley
  • ISBN:
    080063490X
  • ISBN13:
    978-0800634902
  • Genre:
  • Publisher:
    FORTRESS PRESS (November 1, 2002)
  • Pages:
    188 pages
  • Subcategory:
    Bible Study & Reference
  • Language:
  • FB2 format
    1423 kb
  • ePUB format
    1266 kb
  • DJVU format
    1735 kb
  • Rating:
    4.7
  • Votes:
    255
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Richard A. Horsley is Professor of Classics and Religion at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

Richard A. In both his earlier work, Jesus and the Spiral of Violence (1987) and Jesus and Empire (2003) Horsley takes a rather dimmer view of the Roman Empire than that presented by Gibbon, referring to the slavery of subject peoples while ignoring the many instances of local autonomy granted by the early empire.

Jesus and Empire book. Building on his earlier studies of Jesus, Galilee, and the social. 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.

1976 Horsley, Richard A. Pneumatikos vs. Psychikos: Distinctions of Spiritual Status among the Corinthians. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2003. 1977 --. Wisdom of Word and Words of Wisdom in Corinth. Catholic Biblical Quarterly 39 (1977): 224-39.

Home Browse Books Book details, Jesus and Empire: The .

Home Browse Books Book details, Jesus and Empire: The Kingdom of God and the New. By Richard A. Horsley.

It begins with an analysis of Ronald Reagan's celebrated evil empire speech of March 1983, and traces its polemical roots to scriptural . Wright on 'Jesus and the victory of God'.

It begins with an analysis of Ronald Reagan's celebrated evil empire speech of March 1983, and traces its polemical roots to scriptural precedents, notably in the Book of Revelation, in which empire is equated with the unjust rule of Babylon. Some comparisons are made between the general use of religious ideologies to support imperial regimes in ancient and other, more modern, world empires including China and Islam.

He shows how these two identities are on a collision course post–September 11, 2001. Uploaded by Cocceius.

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.

New York: Anchor Books, 1999. Michael J. Svigel, The Apocalypse of John and the Rapture of the Church: A Reevaluation. Trinity Journal ns 22, no. 1 (2001): 23-7. Mills, Kenneth, William B Taylor, and Sandra Lauderdale Graham. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2002. Newport, Kenneth GC. The Branch Davidians of Waco: The History and Beliefs of An Apocalyptic Sect: The History and Beliefs of An Apocalyptic Sect. Hanson, et. al, Apocalypses and Apocalypticism. in The Anchor Bible Dictionary 1 :279-292. Pagels, Elaine H. Revelations : Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation. New York: Viking, 2012.

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.

September
Jesus and Empire: The Kingdom of God and the New World Disorder (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2003), is an expansion of a collection of lectures. Here, he presents a counterpoint to the idea of a domesticated, de-politicized Jesus. Horsley, in contrast to these views, looks at “how Jesus responded to the Roman imperial order,” and he makes a very valid point: “Trying to understand Jesus’ speech and action without knowing how Roman imperialism determined the conditions of life in Galilee and Jerusalem would be like trying to understand Martin Luther King without knowing how slavery, reconstruction, and segregation, determined the lives of African Americans in the United States.”

In both his earlier work, Jesus and the Spiral of Violence (1987) and Jesus and Empire (2003) Horsley takes a rather dimmer view of the Roman Empire than that presented by Gibbon, referring to the “slavery” of subject peoples while ignoring the many instances of local autonomy granted by the early empire. There is no happy condition of mankind to be found here.

With regards Jesus, his teachings, and the Gospel accounts, Horsley argues that “that the key for modern readers’ understanding of Gospel materials is to become as familiar as possible with the Israelite tradition (as well as the context) out of which the historical audience (implied in the text) heard the text. Only if we as modern readers make the connection between text and metonymically signaled references to Israelite tradition can we construe the text within the range of possibilities in implies.”

Horsley draws comparisons between Rome and the United States as imperial world orders and he is obviously not the first to do so. He points to how the U.S., like Rome, is a republic that built an empire, and draws attention also to the intent of some of the Founding Fathers to base the United States on Rome. The comparisons are endless, and the least powerful is not the role of both as sole superpowers, and he finds resistance to America analogous to resistance against Rome.

If you like comparisons of this sort, Jesus and Empire is the book for you. Obviously, the sub-title says it all: The Kingdom of God and the New World Disorder. It is certainly a thought-provoking read and you don’t have to agree with it all to see that Horsley makes some very valid points.

Where Christianity and Jesus are concerned, some won’t like a politicized Jesus and some will. The experience of Rome’s empire is certainly relevant today (we consciously make it relevant) and Horsley does well to draw our attention to this discussion, because history is not only a record of what has transpired, but a record of what we have made of what took place, and that narrative, if not the facts themselves, is constantly evolving.
Runehammer
Richard Horseley has put out some very solid work in most areas of his scholarship -- he doesn't get the big name and the tv spots like Crossan or Borg (and he's not really in their category in terms of "ultra-liberal" scholarship) but his work is pretty solid.

For me, the best part about this book is that 1) end notes are included to help you see his sources 2) his first reading of the text is a political, historical, and cultural reading that is largely de-theologized. I think that should be our first reading of the text. The theological reading gets added later, though Horseley does admit that there was no disctinction between theology and politics in Jesus' day like there is in our own.

The only thing I found a little annoying was that in the end notes Horseley was self-referential an aweful lot. I suppose that is okay in that he cites his own work and his own scholarship, it just felt a tad over the top. I want to see who else out there is doing the same or similar kind of work that he is doing.

All in all, he makes for a good, solid read and is very accessible. His case for Empire is the usual case, which is constantly debated in regards to the Pax Americana, but I think is probably accurate -- America is an Imperial power; whether this is intentional or not is the question. For Horseley it is intentional, though I think that the American public sees it differently while the current Administration may be more intentional in their imperial desires. It's worth the twelve bucks or so that you'll spend and its only about 160 pages or so.
Usanner
Horsley does an excellent job of placing the words and deeds of Jesus in the context of the Pax Romana, thereby bringing out of them political meanings for his time and ours. I read a borrowed copy then ordered my own.
VariesWent
Richard Horsley's Jesus and Empire: The Kingdom of God and the New World Disorder (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2003) addresses Jesus' political and economic context in Galilee and Judea under Roman rule. He examines the historical precedents for prophetic condemnation of unjust imperial rule and the Mosaic covenantal basis for social and economic justice. Then he demonstrates how Jesus' life and sayings as portrayed in Q and Mark continued the prophetic critique and call for a new social order.

Horsley begins by pointing out problems in U.S. religious attitudes. Since the Puritans, the U.S. has seen itself as a new Israel in a new promised land; however, it has acted more like Rome in its arrogant expansion and ethnocentrism. Typical U.S. views of the Bible are skewed in four ways: they separate the political from the religious; they reflect the individualism in U.S. culture; they analyze Jesus' statements as isolated sayings; and they use scholarly concepts like "apocalyptic" while denying the judgmental dimension of Jesus' discourse. Horsley continues to challenge these depoliticized views of Jesus in subsequent chapters.

In chapter one, Horsley demonstrates how the Roman Empire destroyed, subjugated, and terrorized other lands and peoples in its expansion to become the only superpower in the Mediterranean world. The Pax Romana was harsh and chaotic for the subjugated peoples. Romans practiced enslavement, genocide, torture such as crucifixion to deter rebellion, and agricultural taxes that put peasants deeper into debt. The emperor cult was superimposed on local religions-religion and politics were intertwined.

In chapter two, the author traces the Jewish tradition of rebellion against foreign domination, from the exodus through prophetic condemnation of abusive kings and priests to the Maccabean revolt. The apocalyptic writings in Daniel and 1 Enoch, Sicarii counterterrorism, popular protests such as the standards incident with Pilate and the peasant strike, and appearances of popular messiahs are later examples.

In chapter three, Horsley critiques modern Western "historical Jesus" approaches. The post-Enlightenment, intellectual bias rejected the supernatural parts of the Gospels, leaving some isolated sayings of Jesus as the only authentic elements. Horsley argues that we must view Jesus' cultural context, including class and regional divisions (e.g. Galilee vs. Judea), and we should not dissect the story of Mark or series of speeches in Q, thereby losing the integrity of the message.

Chapters four and five are Horsley's weakest link, in my opinion. In chapter four, Horsley asserts that Jesus, in continuity with past prophets and liberators, asserted his people's independence from Roman rule, through his emphasis on the reign of God in his words (in Q) and in his actions (in Mark). In chapter five, Horsley states that Jesus promotes replacing unjust imperial rule with a just, covenantal community that lives out the reign of God. I agree that Jesus' ministry did have a subversive political component, but that was not its totality or primary purpose. Horsley's interpretation of exorcisms as primarily political actions against the rulers (pp.100-02), for example, seems far-fetched. Likewise, his statements that "Jesus is healing the illnesses brought on by Roman imperialism" (109) and Jesus' forgiveness of sins was for "freeing up the life energies that had previously been introjected in self-blame" (110) distort these events.

In the epilogue, he compares the Roman empire in which Jesus and his contemporaries lived with the current U.S. empire in terms of rise to power, military and economic subjugation of other peoples, and the rebellions that such imperial policies inspired in its victims. I agreed with most of his points here, but if this is his conclusion, he spends too little space (only the second half of the epilogue) establishing it. He doesn't take the time to adequately explore the many differences between Roman and U.S. imperialism. For instance, the U.S. killed its native Americans or confined them in reservations; it didn't use them as local ruling representatives as the Romans did in Galilee. Another example is that opponents of U.S. imperialism are allowed to criticize U.S. leaders and policies, unlike ancient Rome. Overall, Horsley gives valuable alternatives to traditional views on Jesus, Rome, and politics, but his ending arguments could be much stronger.