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Trouble With Jesus: Women, Christology and Preaching [Paperback]

By L. Susan Bond (Author)
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Item Number 136054  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   216
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9" Width: 6.01" Height: 0.65"
Weight:   0.75 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 1999
Publisher   Chalice Press
ISBN  0827236352  
EAN  9780827236356  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
"Bond offers the reader a number of exciting pieces in this work. She skillfully builds an objective review of traditional Christologies, demonstrating both strengths and weaknesses. She offers the same critical view of the Christologies offered by women. She concludes with a metaphor that allows the Christology of christus victor new authority in the voice of women preaching in the church today." - Currents in Theology and Mission

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More About L. Susan Bond

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! L. Susan Bond is Assistant Professor of Homiletics at The Divinity School of Vanderbilt University.

L. Susan Bond currently resides in the state of Tennessee.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Preaching   [1493  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Christology   [2037  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Feminist   [643  similar products]
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General   [8607  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Building New Connections  Mar 29, 2003
L. Susan Bond's book, Trouble with Jesus: Women, Christology and Preaching, has been an important book for me. Perhaps the key insight I take comes from early in the book, with her highlight on the discontinuity between preached messages and the liturgies. Coming from a tradition in which liturgical flexibility and adaptation is not the norm, this is of concern to me, as it requires me to pay particular attention to the meaning of the words and symbols in the Eucharistic ritual with regard to the message intended by the sermon.

In her first chapter, Bond asks the question of how new theologies impact the local pastor. Bond emphasizes the difficulty for women simply being in the pulpit, much less trying to speak a new language to the congregation that they might resist regardless of who preached it. Exactly how preaching is theological is a difficult question, which Bond addresses through various lenses, highlighting the particular difficulties women have of dealing with male saviour, dealing with ideas of glorified victimisation, and difficult tasks of embodiment and relationality.

In her second and third chapters, Bond looks at theological/Christological frameworks historical and modern. Looking at historical theologies is important, so that present-day preachers can avoid the pitfalls of later layers of interpretation as well as mistaken notions of the writers due to their cultural influences. 'Women preachers canavoid reinscribing "special incarnation" status to the Jesus of the New Testament writings, since Jesus' ontological status was not a primary concern of the early writers. By avoiding the divinity problem, women preachers can also avoid reinscribing anti-Judaism onto Jesus.' (p. 46) In examining the modern theologies, Bond shows the contexts and the limitations many of them face. She highlights the lack of consciousness of other races in mainstream feminist thought, the latent anti-Judaism in Third World thought, etc. Her summary here argues for a Christology that takes a real world approach without settling for simple answers. She also warns against an always-changing and inconsistent approach. 'We can't use a Sophia Christology one week, an erotic Christology the next, and a Jesus-as-feminist Christology another time.' (p. 107)

In the fourth chapter, Bond sets out to provide a framework for the construction of a modern Christology that draws on resources from the past and speaks to the future. Acknowledging her cultural position and bias, Bond sets forward a series of questions that any should ask in constructing theological ideas:
· Is the image intelligible?
· Does this image enable transformative praxis?
· Is this image disciplined by historical data?
· Does this image affirm plurality?
· Does this image enhance the community's worshipful devotion?
· Does this image maintain the priority of God?
· Does this image trivialise or romanticise suffering?
· Does this image support any type of mind/body dualism?
· Does this image project a vision of the community's shared commitment toward the world that God so loves?

These questions are particularly important for constructing theologies and sermons that are accessible to women. These should not lead to an easy or simple solution. Using the idea of the theology of salvage, deriving from the same root but still different from the idea of salvation, Bond shows power present for preaching, yet this is not an easy task to develop. Certainly preaching is not ultimately meant to simply be a series of pleasing platitudes. 'Preaching is nothing more and nothing less than the invocation of the dangerous memory, the subversive presence, and the transformed future of the God we know in Jesus/Christ.' (p. 150)

In the final chapter, Bond examines the different practices of the church and community in light of her framework of salvage. Eucharist, baptism, hospitality, stewardship, etc. - all these are developed in this light, leading to her final statement: 'To follow the way of Christ is not primarily an exercise in the disciplines of individual perfection, but a headlong and risky communal commitment to the messy work of justice: a sign of the inbreaking basileia.' (p. 182) In all, Bond seeks to instill an importance for the true work of the church and the gospel message of justice through all people through some reasonably radical (if one may use that terminology) systems of thought. Wherever she teaches, the institution that receives her will be challenged and blessed.

I read this book as part of a project on Women in the Pulpit at my seminary; the recovery of women's voices in the church has been an interest of mine for some time (please see Saved from Silence: Finding Women's Voice in Preaching and Women - To Preach or Not To Preach; likewise Women's Ways of Knowing and In Her Own Rite: Constructing Feminist Liturgical Tradition are good resources). I was blessed to have a woman preach at my ordination; I have been blessed to have the support of many women prior to and during my ministry. These works go some way toward helping women to recover their own sense of vocation and ministry.

A benchmark study on Christology and Preaching  Dec 15, 2000
Finally, a smartly written and highly readable book for Christian preachers, teachers, and students of preaching that skillfully navigates the historical and contemporary cross-currents of theologies of Jesus, and then boldly wagers a homiletical Christology for the 21st century church.

L.Susan Bond spots, especially among women clergy, "trouble with Jesus." Uneasy with various historical interpretations of Jesus, women pastors (as well as men) have found it increasingly more difficult to relate the Jesus of scripture and church tradition to everyday human experience. The result has been sermons preached without Christ, an odd state of affairs for Christian preaching, or sermons that drift from one view of Jesus to another contradictory understanding.

The writer deftly explores contemporary women's responses to this theological problem with Jesus: how to preach and teach Jesus Christ today when so many interpretations of Jesus seem to reinforce gender, racial, cultural, and socio-economic injustice? Bond offers fresh readings of select feminist, womanist, sophia/wisdom, mujerista, African, and Asian approaches to Jesus Christ. She artfully evaluates these new direction in theology on the way to constructing her own compelling proposal of how, with intellectual integrity and worldly responsibility, the contemporary church can continue to affirm its faith and base its practices upon Jesus Christ.

Bond suggests the evocative Christological methaphor of "salvage" as one helpful way forward. She writes, "[T]he power of God in Jesus/Christ is the power to tenderly salvage what is salvageable, the power to be in solidarity with those who suffer, and the power to proclaim and to practice life in the midst of death." The people who practice this "salvage" operation in the world are the church, of course. The ones who by the power of Jesus Christ join hands in suffering and redemptive hope with those people who the powers of death routinely toss upon the trash heaps of the world. Bond salvages the real work of the church even as she outlines a Christology of salvage.

Don't be mistaken. Clearly Susan Bond understands the world of the academy and academic theology. But in this book she speaks to preachers who every Sunday climb into pulpits "smack in the middle of folks who have lost jobs, beaten their wives, lost children" and cast their votes for presidential candidates. She knows that Jesus Christ has direct bearing on this real world of the congregation. She offers challenging theological insight and sound rhetorical guidance for those preachers and teachers, women and men, who are honest enough to admit "trouble with Jesus," and who are faithful enough to seek some answers.

If you happen to be one of those people, grab a good cup of coffee, and read this book!


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