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Pax Romana And The Peace Of Jesus Christ by Klaus Wengst
How providential, it is often argued, that Christianity began under the pax Romano, an unprecedented time of peace throughout the world! At what other time could the gospel have spread so quickly? Certainly the pax Romana was a time of peace, prosperity and justice for some - yet for others, the majority, it was a time of oppression, misery and suffering under the tyrant's whim. This latter dimension is not often brought out, so this new book plays an important role in redressing the balance. In it, Professor Wengst brings out what it was really like to live in the Roman empire. He is not so much concerned to offer a 'balanced' account as to show what it felt like from below, its effect on the nameless multitudes of whose immeasurable tears and sufferings, hopes and fears there is only indirect evidence. This serves as a prelude to a discussion of the experiences which Jesus and the early Christians had of Roman rule and the way in which they reacted to it. There is no mistaking the fact that the results of the study are not just a piece of past history, but are extraordinarily relevant to the modern world.
Hegemonic Peace And Empire by Ali Parchami
This book examines the language and the ideology of the Pax Romana, the Pax Britannica and the Pax Americana within the broader contexts of 'hegemony' and 'empire'. It addresses three main themes: a conceptual examination of the way in which hegemony has been justified; a linguistic study of how the notion of pax (usually translated as peace) has been used in ancient and modern times; and a study of the international orders created by Rome and Britain. Using an historiographical approach, the book draws upon texts from Greco-Roman antiquity, and sources from the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries to show how the pax ideology has served as a justification for hegemonic foreign policy, and as an intellectual exercise in power projection. From Tacitus' condemnation of what he described as 'creating a wilderness and calling it peace', to debates about the establishment of a Pax Americana in post-Saddam Hussein's Iraq, the book shows not only how the governing elite in each of the three hegemonic orders prescribed to a loose interpretation of the pax ideology, but also how their internal disagreements and different conceptualisations of pax have affected the process of 'empire-building'. This book will be of interest to students of international history, empire, and International Relations in general.
From Jesus To Christ by Paula Fredriksen
"Magisterial. . . . A learned, brilliant and enjoyable study."—Géza Vermès, Times Literary Supplement In this exciting book, Paula Fredriksen explains the variety of New Testament images of Jesus by exploring the ways that the new Christian communities interpreted his mission and message in light of the delay of the Kingdom he had preached. This edition includes an introduction reviews the most recent scholarship on Jesus and its implications for both history and theology. "Brilliant and lucidly written, full of original and fascinating insights."—Reginald H. Fuller, Journal of the American Academy of Religion "This is a first-rate work of a first-rate historian."—James D. Tabor, Journal of Religion "Fredriksen confronts her documents—principally the writings of the New Testament—as an archaeologist would an especially rich complex site. With great care she distinguishes the literary images from historical fact. As she does so, she explains the images of Jesus in terms of the strategies and purposes of the writers Paul, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John."—Thomas D’Evelyn, Christian Science Monitor
Subversive Meals by R. Alan Streett
Subversive Meals examines the Lord's Supper within the sociopolitical context of first-century Roman domination, and concludes that it was an anti-imperial praxis. Although the Christian communal meal looked much like a typical Roman banquet in structure, with a deipnon and a symposion, it was essentially different. The Roman meal supported the empire's ideology, honored Caesar and the gods, reinforced stratification among the masses, and upheld Rome's right to rule the world. The Christian meal, on the other hand, included hymns that extolled Jesus as Lord, prophecies that challenged Rome's ideological claims, and letters--read aloud--that promoted egalitarianism and instructed believers on how to live according to kingdom of God principles. Hence, the Christian banquet was an act of nonviolent resistance, or what James C. Scott calls a "hidden transcript."
Christ And Caesar by Seyoon Kim
The slogan "Paul and the Empire" is much in vogue in New Testament scholarship today. But did Paul truly formulate his gospel in antithesis to the Roman imperial cult and ideology and seek to subvert the Empire? In Christ and Caesar Seyoon Kim first examines five epistles of Paul exegetically and shows how the dominant anti-imperial interpretation is actually difficult to sustain.Next he examines the Lukan writings (Luke-Acts) to see how Luke talks about the encounters of Paul and other gospel preachers with Roman imperialism. Kim explores why it is that Luke makes no effort to present Christ's redemption as materialized in terms of political liberation. Finally, Kim compares the exaltation Christologies of Luke, Revelation, Paul, and Hebrews and inquires about the hermeneutical possibility of developing a political Christology in our present-day context.
Paul S Letter To The Romans And Roman Imperialism by Ian E Rock
Ian E. Rock demonstrates that the Letter to the Romans may be seen as an attempt by a subordinate group to redress actual and potential issues of confrontation with the Empire and to offer hope, even in the face of death. Paul demonstrates that it is God's peace and not Rome's peace that is important; that loyalty to the exalted Jesus as Lord and to the kingdom of God - not Jupiter and Rome - leads to salvation; that grace flows from Jesus as Christ and Lord and not from the benefactions of theEmperor. If the resurrection of Jesus - the crucified criminal of the Roman Empire - demonstrates God's power over the universe and death, the very instrument of Roman control, then the Christ-believer is encouraged to face suffering and death in the hope of salvation through this power. Paul's theology emerges from, and is inextricably bound to, the politics of his day, the Scriptures of his people, and to the critical fact that the God who is One and Lord of all is still in charge of the world.
Dismissing Jesus by Douglas M. Jones
What is the way of the cross? Why does it create resistance? How do we answer objections to it? The revival of interest in Christ's kingdom and radical discipleship has produced a wave of discussions, but sometimes those discussions are scattered. This book aims to pull together in one place the core claims of the way of the cross. It aims to examine the deeply cherished assumptions that hinder us from hearing Jesus's call. When we do that, we'll see that the gospel of Christ is not primarily about getting into heaven or about living a comfortable, individually pious, middle-class life. It is about being free from the ancient, pervasive, and delightful oppression of Mammon in order to create a very different community, the church, an alternative city-kingdom here and now on earth by means of living and celebrating the way of the cross--the reign of joyful weakness, renunciation, self-denial, sharing, foolishness, community, and love overcoming evil.
Resisting Empire by Jason A. Whitlark
This book offers a fresh reading about the purpose for which Hebrews was written. In this book Whitlark argues that Hebrews engages both the negative pressures (persecution) and positive attractions (honor/prosperity) of its audience's Roman imperial context. Consequently, the audience of Hebrews appears to be in danger of defecting to the pagan imperial context. Due to the imperial nature of these pressures, Hebrews obliquely critiques the imperial script according to the rhetorical expectations in the first-century Mediterranean world-namely, through the use of figured speech. This critique is the primary focus of Whitlark's project. Whitlark examines Hebrews's figured response to the imperial hopes boasted by Rome along with Rome's claim to eternal rule, to the power of life and death, and to be led by the true, victorious ruler. Whitlark also makes a case for discerning Hebrews's response to the challenges of Flavian triumph. Whitlark concludes his study by suggesting that Hebrews functions much like Revelation, that is, to resist the draw of the Christians' Roman imperial context. This is done, in part, by providing a covert opposition to Roman imperial discourse. He also offers evaluation of relapse theories for Hebrews, of Hebrews's place among early Christian martyrdom, and of the nature of the resistance that Hebrews promotes.
Includes section "Review of books".