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Paul and Empire [Paperback]

By Richard A. Horsley (Editor)
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Item Number 120408  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   257
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.9" Width: 6" Height: 0.7"
Weight:   0.95 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 1, 1997
Publisher   Trinity Press
ISBN  1563382172  
EAN  9781563382178  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Catch up on your reading! Horsley has gathered together important recent pieces on Paul's mission to the Gentiles, concentrating on four areas: (1) the imperial cult, (2) patronage and power in Roman cities, (3) the terminology Paul used to articulate the gospel, and (4) the nature of early church assemblies.

Publishers Description
Over the centuries, Paul has been understood as the prototypical convert from Judaism to Christianity. At the time of Paul s conversion, however, Christianity did not yet exist. Moreover, Paul says nothing to indicate that he was abandoning Judaism or Israel. He, in fact, understood his mission as the fulfillment of the promises to Israel and of Israel s own destiny. In brief, Paul s gospel and mission were set over against the Roman Empire, not Judaism. This anthology brings together incisive and groundbreaking essays on: 1) "The Gospel of Imperial Salvation," revealing how the imperial cult, by its dominance in urban public space, created a pervasive presence of imperial beneficence and salvation integrated into traditional Greek religion; (2) "Patronage and Power," disclosing the networks of patronage relations that held the empire together, so as to render occupying troops and imperial bureaucracy unnecessary in urbanized areas such as Corinth and Ephesus, key centers of Paul's mission, (3) "Paul's Articulation of an Alternative Gospel," discerning how Paul borrows much of the key language of the imperial religion in preaching his own gospel of a Lord who had been crucified by imperial rulers but vindicated by God as the true universal Lord, (4) "The Assemblies of an Alternative International Society," exploring ways in which the assemblies Paul founded in Asia Minor and Greece were to embody patterns alternative to the hierarchical human relations that dominated Roman imperial society. Richard A. Horsley is Professor of Classics and Religion at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He is author of Galilee: History, Politics, People and Archaeology, History, and Society in Galilee: Social Context of Jesus and the Rabbis, both published by Trinity Press International.

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More About Richard A. Horsley

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! 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.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Genesis of a world religion  May 23, 2004
This book presents a series of essays on Paul in relation the Roman imperial world in which he moved and the result is a refreshingly different view of the onset of 'Christianity', something that didn't really exist yet at the point of discussion. The supposedly 'a-political' Paul focussed on the transcendent is suddenly living and surviving in highly stressed world of the Romans where the response to need, the revolution that is impossible, is met by rising 'ekklesia', which doesn't yet mean church, of the not yet 'Christians'. In the words of the editor, Christianity was a product of empire, but what became the established church of the empire started as an anti-imperial movement.
Well Done!  Jan 13, 2002
Professor Horsley's anthology of essays (primarily by other authors), and his introductions, do much to appropriately redefine Saint Paul's writings within social and political contexts. Explicitly rejecting the notion that Paul is to be read exclusively as religious literature intended for a religious community, Horsley (et al.) painstakingly demonstrates that the preaching of the crucified Christ was a direct challenge to the Roman Empire. Similarly, the building of Christian communities around the proclamation of the resurrection were intentional rejections of secular values and order.

Living in an age when religion has too often been high-jacked by fundamentalists of all denominations and faith groups, to serve only petty theological agendas, Horsley's collection stands for us as a useful reminder that faith can be something more.

A Useful anthology  Sep 8, 2000
This is a useful anthology on an important subject in Pauline studies. Although the fourteen essays presented here have been published elsewhere, it is very helpful to have them collected in one place. Further, Richard Horsley's introductory material offers a significant synthesis of the material. In short, the collection depicts St Paul as developing an explicitly anti-imperial movement, in opposition to the all-pervasive emperor cult of Rome. Three aspects of this movement are focussed on: Theology (Parts 1 and 3), Patronage (Part 2) and church as an alternative society (Part 4). I would recommend this book to undergraduate students of the Bible, and indeed to anyone who doesn't see what politics has to do with the New Testament. I would also recommend Neil Elliott's 'Liberating Paul', some of which is reproduced in this volume.
Empire or Paul?  Mar 28, 2000
This book is in two halves, only one of which I was really interested in and enjoyed. I have enjoyed some of Horsley's other books but this one, while having good material was too bogged down in the first section on Roman religious practice, mainly of interest to the academic I suspect. I was also disappointed to discover that much of the material has been published before elsewhere.

Nevertheless there is some great material here that should be of value to those interested in the origins of Christianity and the work being done by the Jesus Seminar. Of particular interest to me was the point that Paul was not setting up a religion and cannot be called a Christian by today's definition.


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