Item description for Message and the Kingdom by Richard A. Horsley & Richard A. Horsely...
Overview Set against the backdrop of Roman imperial history, this book demonstrates how the quest for the kingdom of God by Jesus, Paul and the earliest churches should be understood as both a spiritual journey and a political response to mindless acts of violence and injustice that characterized the kings of men.
Publishers Description Set against the backdrop of Roman imperial history, The Message and the Kingdom demonstrates how the quest for the kingdom of God by Jesus, Paul, and the earliest churches should be understood as both a spiritual journey and a political response to the "mindless acts of violence, inequality, and injustice that characterized the kings of men." Horsley and Silberman reveal how the message of Jesus and Paul was profoundly shaped by the history of their time as well as the social conditions of the congregations to whom they preached.
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Studio: Augsburg Fortress Publishers
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.9" Width: 5.9" Height: 0.8" Weight: 1.1 lbs.
Release Date Feb 1, 2002
Publisher Augsburg Fortress Publishers
ISBN 0800634675 ISBN13 9780800634674
Availability 0 units.
More About Richard A. Horsley & Richard A. Horsely
Richard A. Horsley is Professor of Classics and Religion at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, USA, and is author of Galilee: History, Politics, and People (Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 1995).
Richard A. Horsley currently resides in the state of Massachusetts.
Reviews - What do customers think about Message and the Kingdom?
Galilee as viewed through the political lens of the 20th century Feb 29, 2008
The Library Journal got it right, these authors view everything through the lens of politics, their own 20th century liberalism. Right away I knew there was a problem with this book when they made the sweeping assertion in the Prologue that "a dramatic new picture of the historical origin of Christianity-one that clashes disturbingly with more far, reverent images of Jesus, the disciples, and the peaceful hills and valleys of Galilee. In buried layers ... archaeologists ...are uncovering the evocative physical remains of an ancient society where unprecedented material splendor and luxury existed side by side with unprecedented suffering, hunger, and homelessness. ... they are bringing to life a long-silenced world of peasants, prophets, centurions, and Caesars, a world in which radical politics and memberships in close-knot communities of `saints' were some of the most powerful ways that the earliest Christians sought to resist the power of foreign rulers and to assert their own dignity." Isn't it amazing how all previous authors have missed this? These must be brilliant authors indeed!
On more than one occasion they discuss how people were oppressed by technological progress or the "relentless pace of modernization." Gosh that sounds more like today than back then. How can that be? Being the dependable liberals that they are the authors see doom and gloom everywhere. E.g., When people gathered on the Sabbath they would "at least temporarily distance themselves from the misery and suffering that this modern world had forced them to bear." When the authors look at the Galilean landscape they see a land oppressed by tyrants, loan-sharks, tax collectors, hunger and poverty.
The authors eschew the idea that Jesus' message may have not been political but rather religious. They assert that when Jesus began to baptize he was doing so as a political act, protesting against the powers that be. "In this book we will argue that earliest Christianity was a movement that boldly challenged the heartlessness and arrogance of a vast governmental bureaucracy-run on unfairly apportioned tax burdens and guided by cynical special interests-that preached about `opportunity,' `self-reliance,' and personal achievement' while denying all three to the vast majority of men, women, and children over whom it presumed to rule." "Early Christianity was, in fact, a down-to-earth response to an oppressive ideology of earthly power that had recently swept across continents, disrupted economies, and overturned ancient tradition." No, Christianity could not possibly be God's intervention to atone for the sins of humankind. No, that couldn't be it, it was a liberal political movement against those who represented by cynical special interests-that preached about `opportunity,' `self-reliance,' personal achievement' and traditional morality. Now who does that sound like today? Conservatives! What a coincidence.
This is not a history book but rather but one more demonstration of the politicalization of academia.
Distinguishing the forest from the trees.... Jul 23, 2007
Horsley's book here reads more like a narrative social history. There aren't footnotes and citations, no minutia to contend with, which for an academic guy, is pretty good.
The thing that I liked most about the book was that he pointed out what are apparent tensions within the text of the New Testament -- not in a bitter way like some liberal scholars (cough, cough, "Bart Ehrman," cough, cough) who lost their faith and are now angry that they feel duped -- but in a way that was tactful and thoughtful.
Was Paul, the hero and main interpreter of Jesus of Nazareth (by the inclusion of so much of his writing into the New Testament, including that which probably isn't his but a disciple of his) really rejected by the Jerusalem community? It kind of sounds that way in Horsley's story. If Galatians (which is considered authentically Paul)is written in 48/9 C.E. and Paul's mission to the Gentiles hasn't really been clarified to the Jerusalem council, then some of Paul's letters in Corinthians and the subsequent attack on "Judaizers" makes sense. The Jerusalem community wasn't buying what Paul was selling -- pagans may become God-fearers (sons of Noah abiding by Noachide laws see Acts 15) but if they want in they should go all the way and convert. They are welcome to sojourn, but that doesn't make the gentiles converts. Paul disputes this -- Torah observance isn't necessary. James says he's wrong. Israel is defined by its relationship to Torah that was given by God -- and affirmed by Jesus. Paul's basis for his gospel? Personal revelation. That is where it gets sketchy.
Overall a good read and thought provoking. I'd recommend it, though it probably isn't for some younger undergrads.
Finally! Jul 17, 2002
Professor Horsley has repeatedly offered us books impeccably researched and annotated in great detail. Yet despite the promise of those works, Horsley has too often hidden his gifts behind an impenetrable wall of technicalities and minutia. In his attempts to demonstrate his intelligence, Horsley has sometimes made his writing obtuse and inaccessible to the average reader.
This, however, is not one of his failures. Here Horsley finally gets it right. Here Horsley fulfills the promise of his other works.
Examining the politics, sociology, psychology and religion of the renewal movements founded by John the Baptist, Jesus of Nazareth, and Paul of Tarsus, Horsley and Silberman weave an exhilarating narrative that exposes the historical roots of Christianity. Thoroughly comprehendible by the lay reader, without sacrificing scholarship, this book demonstrates that the authors can strike an appropriate balance between academia and popular reading.
Social Reform Feb 18, 2000
Harsley and Silberman provide a social and economic setting of the time of Jesus and Paul (10 BCE - 70 CE) and the "Jesus Movement". Without addressing the religious truth of Christianity, they describe its social context and the impact it had on Palestine and the eastern Mediterranean.
The authors draw on recent archaeological finds to present a picture of life during this time. Along with the Bible and writings of Josephus, they use non-canonical early Christian writings, and Roman documents and inscriptions.
Bibliographical Notes in addition to the Bibliography make it easy to refer to more original sources in topics of interest.
The book is somehat hard to read, visually. This edition uses a very light serif font, and the paragraphs are rather long. Some familiarity with Biblical accounts of Jesus and Paul would be helpful for the reader.