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Paul and Politics Bibliography. Paul and Politics Crossan, John Dominic and Reed, Jonathan L. (eds.). In Search of Paul: How Jesus’s Apostle Opposed Rome’s.

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Presentation on theme: "Paul and Politics Bibliography. Paul and Politics Crossan, John Dominic and Reed, Jonathan L. (eds.). In Search of Paul: How Jesus’s Apostle Opposed Rome’s."— Presentation transcript:

1 Paul and Politics Bibliography

2 Paul and Politics Crossan, John Dominic and Reed, Jonathan L. (eds.). In Search of Paul: How Jesus’s Apostle Opposed Rome’s Empire with God’s Kingdom. New York: Harper San Francisco, Elliott, Neil. Liberating Paul: the Justice of God and the Politics of the Apostle. Maryknoll: Orbis Books, Horsley, Richard H. (ed.). Paul and Empire: Religion and Power in Roman Imperial Society. Harrisburg: Trinity Press International, Horsley, Richard H. (ed.). Paul and Politics: Ekklesia, Israel, Imperium, Interpretation. Harrisburg: Trinity Press International, Wright, N. T. “Gospel and Empire.” Chapter 4 in Paul: In Fresh Perspective. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2005.

3 Wright, “Gospel and Empire” Introduction 1.In Paul’s day there was no neat political spectrum of left (opposition to all government) and right (support of strong authority). 2.Modern separation of religion and politics would have made no sense in the ancient world. 3.Uses Richard Hays’ method of detecting the presence of “allusions and echoes” behind Paul’s explicit statements.

4 Wright, “Gospel and Empire” Caesar’s Empire and Its Ideology 1.The Roman empire claimed to extend to the world the old ideals of the Republic: Freedom and Justice. 2.Augustus quelled the civil wars, established Peace, and was hailed as Savior. 3.“Freedom, justice, peace and salvation were the imperial themes that you could expect to meet in the mass media of the ancient world, that is, on statues, on coins, in poetry and songs and speeches” (p. 63). 4.“The announcement of these themes, focused…on the person of the emperor…, could be spoken of as euangelion, ‘good news,’ ‘gospel’” (p. 63). 5.The Roman military machine punished rebellions brutally; the cross became a feared symbol of imperial power. 6.The emperor-cult was the fastest-growing religion; claimed title “Son of God;” worshipped as divine (esp. in eastern provinces).

5 Wright, “Gospel and Empire” Jewish Critique of Pagan Empire 1.OT prophets saw pagan nations as instruments of God’s judgment (or salvation) of Israel; then they would be judged in turn. 2.Judaism taught that wicked rulers will be judged, in meantime God uses them to maintain a measure of order. 3.God’s people must learn to live under pagan rule yet avoid compromise with paganism. 4.Apocalyptic texts intensified the critique of pagan empire and the promise of its overthrow. 5.For Judaism, rulers are neither absolutely bad (to be ignored) nor divine (worthy of blind submission).

6 Wright, “Gospel and Empire” Paul’s Counter-Imperial Theology 1.God of Creation will one day set the world right and rescue his people from pagan oppression. 2.If Jesus is Israel’s Messiah, then he is the world’s King, Lord, and Savior (not Caesar). 3.Jesus’ resurrection has defeated death, the ultimate weapon of earthly rulers, the instrument of all tyranny. 4.Though pagan rulers will be judged, God’s people are called to obey them in present (Rom. 13) – but also to call them to account when they overstep their bounds. 5.Key Pauline terms like Lord, Savior, parousia, gospel, and justice all have counterparts in the imperial ideology.

7 Wright, “Gospel and Empire” Examples from Philippians 1.Phil. 3:20-21 – Our citizenship is in heaven (not Rome), from which we await a Savior (not Caesar, but Jesus, who is Lord and Messiah). 2.Phil. 3:17 – “Imitate me” by setting aside their Roman civic status (as Paul had discounted his Jewish status) and hailing Jesus, not Caesar, as lord. 3.Phil. 2:5-11 – Cross is transformed from symbol of Roman tyranny into symbol of God’s love; Caesar became Lord through military victories, public works, etc.; Jesus becomes Lord through suffering obedience. 4.Phil. 2:12 – “Work out your own salvation” does not mean doing good works to earn salvation but to work out, in fear and trembling, what it means to live by Jesus’ salvation rather than Caesar’s.


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