SNAPSHOT: “Jesus and Empire”, Horsley

From Publisher

Building on his earlier studies of Jesus, Galilee, and the social upheavals in Roman Palestine, Horsley focuses his attention on how Jesus’ proclamation of the kingdom of God relates to Roman and Herodian power politics. In addition he examines how modern ideologies relate to Jesus’ proclamation.

Contents

  1. Roman Imperialism: The New World Disorder
    The Emergence of a Single Superpower
    Roman Imperialism
    Indirect Rule through Kings and High Priests

2. Resistance and Rebellion in Judea and Galilee
The Persistence and Social Roots of Revolt in Roman Palestine
   Protest, Resistance, and Terrorism by Scribal Groups
   Popular Protests and Distinctive Israelite Movements

3. Toward a Relational Approach to Jesus
Multiple Aspects in Considering a Historical Leader
Historical Conditions and Cultural Traditions
Discerning Jesus-in-Movement in Gospel Sources
Taking the Gospel Whole

4. God’s Judgment of the Roman Imperial Order
The Conditions of Renewal: Judgment of Rulers
Jesus’ Prophetic Condemnation of the Temple and High Priests
Jesus’ Prophetic Condemnation of Roman Imperial Rule

5. Covenantal Community and Cooperation
Healing the Effects of Imperialism
Working in Village Communities
Renewing Covenantal Communities
Jesus’ Alternative to the Roman Imperial Order
Epilogue: Christian Empire and American Empire
Christian Empire
American Empire

My Rough Notes

Introduction: American Identity and a Depoliticized Jesus

America’s Ambiguous Identity Separating Religion and Domesticating Jesus

it portrays a depoliticized individual teacher uttering isolated aphorisms that pertain only to an individual counterCultural Cultural lifestyle in no particular political-economic context and with no political implications. It is difficult to understand why the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, would have bothered to crucify such a figure.

1. It is simply impossible to separate a religious dimension from political-economic life in traditional societies.

2. Individualism is a Western ideology,

they also tend to depoliticize the immediate Galilean and Judean context in which he operated.

When Jesus comes into conflict, therefore, it does not have to do with political-economic matters. Rather he comes into conflict with “religious leaders” over basically religious issues:

The peoples of Palestine at the time of Jesus appear as a complex society full of political conflict rather than a unitary religion (Judaism).

Investigating Jesus and the Empire

Introduction: American Identity and a Depoliticized Jesus

America’s Ambiguous Identity Separating Religion and Domesticating_Jesus

Investigating Jesus and the Empire

  1. Roman Imperialism: The New World Disorder
    The Emergence of a Single Superpower
    Roman Imperialism
    Indirect Rule through Kings and High Priests

2. Resistance and Rebellion in Judea and Galilee

    The Persistence and Social Roots of Revolt in Roman Palestine

    Protest, Resistance, and Terrorism by Scribal Groups

     Popular Protests and Distinctive Israelite Movements

3. Toward a Relational Approach to Jesus

Multiple Aspects in Considering a Historical Leader

Historical Conditions and Cultural Traditions

Discerning Jesus-in-Movement in Gospel Sources

Taking the Gospel Whole

Even from this summary outline, but especially from a reading/hearing of the whole story, it is clear that the dominant theme running throughout out the Gospel is (the presence of) the kingdom of God.

KINGDOM OF GOD AS THEME OF GOSPEL OF MARK

1:15-kingdom of God is at hand, theme of whole story
(3:22-27-kingdom of God is implicit, declared happening in Jesus’ exorcisms)
4:11-secret of kingdom of God; plus parables of kingdom of God, 4:26, 30
9:1-kingdom of God coming in power
9:47-enter kingdom of God
10:14-15-belong to/receive kingdom of God
10:23, 24, 25 enter kingdom of God
(11:10 coming kingdom of David)
12:34-not far from kingdom of God
14:25-drink cup of renewed covenant in kingdom of God
15:43–waiting expectantly for kingdom of God

Q= SEQUENCE OF JESUS-SPEECHES (WITH KINGDOM OF GOD THEME) ADDRESSING JESUS MOVEMENT ISSUES
3:7-9, 16-17-john (as prophet) announces coming prophet to baptize with Holy Spirit and fire
6:20-49 (20)-Jesus (as prophet) announces kingdom of God as covenant renewal
7:18-35 (28)-Jesus (as successor to John) is indeed coming prophet bringing renewal = kingdom of God

9:57-10:16 (9:60, 62; 10:9, 11) Jesus sends envoys to heal and curse = kingdom of God as renewal and judgment
11:2-4, 9-13 (2)-prayer for kingdom of God, which is renewal, but with testing
11:14-20 (20) Jesus’ (as prophet’s) exorcisms = manifestations of kingdom of God (implied judgment of critics)
11:29-32 Jesus (as prophet) declares something greater than Jonah or Solomon is here
11:39-52 Jesus (as prophet) utters woes against Pharisees
12:2-12-Jesus exhorts hold confession when hauled before authorities
12:22-31 (31)-Jesus reassures that subsistence materializes in single-minded minded pursuit of kingdom of God

12:49-59 Jesus’ (as prophet’s) fiery mission (crisis) means divisions, but resolves conflicts
13:18-21 (18, 20)-Jesus (as prophet) declares two kingdom of God parables
13:28-29, 34-35 + 14:16-24 (29)-Jesus (as prophet) pronounces kingdom of God banquet, both positive and judgmental
16:16-Jesus (as prophet) says kingdom of God suffers violence
17:22-37 Jesus (as prophet) warns of day- of Son of Man = judgment positive and negative
22:28-30 (30)-Jesus (as prophet) constitutes twelve representatives realizing justice for Israel in banquet of kingdom of God

It seems clear that the theme of the sequence of speeches that comprise Q is the kingdom of God. Moreover, closer inspection of the issues or concerns of the individual speeches suggests that the overall concern of Q and the concrete meaning or program of “the kingdom of God” is the renewal of Israel.

The kingdom of God is the overarching theme that encompasses Jesus’ prophetic condemnation of oppressive rulers as well as his prophetic renewal of Israel-the subjects of the next two chapters.

4. God’s Judgment of the Roman Imperial Order

The Conditions of Renewal: Judgment of Rulers

Jesus’ Prophetic Condemnation of the Temple and High Priests

Jesus’ Prophetic Condemnation of Roman Imperial Rule

5. Covenantal Community and Cooperation

Healing the Effects of Imperialism

Working in Village Communities

Renewing Covenantal Communities

Jesus’ Alternative to the Roman Imperial Order

Epilogue: Christian Empire and American Empire

Christian Empire

American Empire

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