What Jesus Meant

What Jesus Meant

Book - 2006
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In what are billed as "culture wars," people on the political right and the political left cite Jesus as endorsing their views. Garry Wills argues that Jesus subscribed to no political program. He was far more radical than that. In a fresh reading of the gospels, Wills explores the meaning of the "reign of heaven" Jesus not only promised for the future but brought with him into this life. It is only by dodges and evasions that people misrepresent what Jesus plainly had to say against power, the wealthy, and religion itself. Jesus came from the lower class, the working class, and he spoke to and for that class. This is a book that will challenge the assumptions of almost everyone who brings religion into politics-"Christian socialists" as well as biblical theocrats.

But Wills is just as critical of those who would make Jesus a mere ethical teacher, ignoring or playing down his divinity. Jesus without the Resurrection is simply not the Jesus of the gospels.

Publisher: New York : Viking, c2006
ISBN: 9780670034963
Branch Call Number: 232 WIL
Characteristics: xxxi, 143 p. ; 22 cm


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Mar 29, 2008

The only problem with Garry Wills is that he writes too many books for any fan (like me) to keep up with. As a semi-lapsed Christian, I love his powerful and critical writings about his Catholic faith, and this book is a particular highlight. His meditation on the radical nature of Jesus's teachings, and the disconnect between mainstream Christian churches and the "church" as Christ saw it is eye-opening.

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