Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Christian Utopia, Christian Slavery

Two upcoming books from Augsburg Fortress caught my eye. First, Mary Ann Beavis' Jesus & Utopia: Looking for the Kingdom of God in the Roman World:

"Scholarship on the historical Jesus and, now, on the 'Jesus movement' generally divides into separate camps around two sticky questions: was Jesus an apocalyptic prophet and was the movement around him political, that is nationalistic or revolutionary? Mary Ann Beavis moves the study of the historical Jesus in a dramatic new direction as she highlights the context of ancient utopian thought and utopian communities, drawing particularly on the Essene community and Philo's discussion of the Therapeutae, and argues that only ancient utopian thought accounts for the lack of explicit political echoes in Jesus' message of the kingdom of God."

It will be interesting to see how Beavis teases out the relationship between utopian thought and politics (or lack thereof, as she seems to see it).

Also Jennifer Glancy's Slavery in Early Christianity:

"Glancy here situates early Christian slavery in its broader cultural setting, arguing that modern scholars have consistently underestimated the pervasive impact of slavery on the institutional structures, ideologies, and practices of the early churches - and upon the bodies of the enslaved. Her careful attention to the bodily experience of subjection and violation that constituted slavery makes this an indispensable book for anyone interested in slavery in early Christianity. Includes special chapters on Jesus and Paul."

Both of these are coming out in September according to the website, but October according to the catalog I received in the mail.


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