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Jesus and Spiral of Violence (Facets) Paperback – January 1, 1993

4 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Richard A. Horsley is Professor of Religion at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.
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Product Details

  • Series: Facets
  • Paperback: 372 pages
  • Publisher: Augsburg Fortress Publishers; 1st Fortress Press ed edition (January 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800627105
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800627102
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #308,785 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A. Hogan VINE VOICE on March 28, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Richard A. Horsley has added his voice to the question asked By Jesus{and thereafter history}:"Who do you say that I am?"He takes a slightly differt tack here,viewing Jesus in terms of the popular historical movements of his time,starting with the obvious fact of domination of a foriegn power,and the resulting lifestyles of an occupied people. After{quite interestingly}disecting the Romans and their slave perpetuated economy, he turns to Jewish non violent resistance, Messianic movements social community{including,a fascinating discussion on the half shekel temple tax},and eventually, a short concluding chapter on Jesus and Social revolution. This is a very well researched,well written study{though Im am not certain that all of the leaps are justified}Another inetesting book to the canon.As for the accusation that this is a Jesus for the secular left,I have found that whatever your political leanings are, one tends to attach them to Jesus. This ,though seems obvious to most, Jesus was poor, his friends and family were poor, most of his assocaites were poor,and almost everyone who initially heard His message were poor. That this sudy ,then would approach Jesus from the side of poor outcasts of that time living a under a brutal occupying force adminstered by viscious sycophants is not surprising.Not definitive, of course, simply another side to the story.
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Format: Paperback
Professor Horsley delves behind the Christ of faith to look more closely at the historical Jesus, within his first century, Palestinian social, political and religious context. Horsley argues that far from being the innocent victim of illegitimate charges made against him by an unholy alliance of Jewish religious and Roman political authorities, Jesus was a very real threat to the ruling institutions.
At least from the perspective of the social, political and religious elite, Jesus was a dangerous figure worthy of condemnation in order to maintain the Pax Romana. His radical preaching and practice of the immediate presence of the Kingdom of God implied that no other kingdom and no other authorities could justifiably be obeyed. "A slave cannot serve two masters..."
For those interested in studying serious Christology, or the social and historical context of the earliest elements of the Jesus movement, this can be a valuable book.
For those who wish to maintain the uninformed innocence of a Sunday School faith, this book should be avoided. Horsley is much too honest to be safe.
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Format: Paperback
Highly recomended for the Jew and Gentile alike. Horsely manages tosynthesis some complex and scattered historical themes intoa text that appears factual and complete. No wallowing in emotionalish here folks just straightforward historical reasoning. A must for the cleric the biblical scholar and anyone interested in ancient history.
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By A Customer on June 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
Isn't it funny how "historico-critical" inquiry into traditional religion always winds up supporting a platform of radical egalitarianism, socialism, and "communitarianism"? See especially Jewish Renewal as espoused by Arthur Waskow and Michael Lerner, and Christianity as espoused by the Jesus Seminarians and the Liberation Theologians. And here we have Richard Horsley telling us, in effect, that "the history of early Christianity is the history of class struggles."
How convenient that the "essence" of the historical message of Jesus had to do with a Marxist political agenda. The program of Jesus the Galilean communitarian agitator looks wonderfully like the program of today's democratic socialists.
But how sad that not one of these "Jesus-the-liberator" scholars -- including Horsley -- knows much of anything about economics. We might well have gotten a different book if Jesus's anti-imperial "program" had been responsibly analyzed by someone who actually understands how trade and markets work.
"Jesus and the Spiral of Government Power." Now _there's_ a book I'd be happy to buy.
Unfortunately, it would probably be as anachronistic and as full of special pleading as the works of left-leaning scholars. But it would be a nice break from the Marxist class analysis of "historians" like Horsley.
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