Thursday, April 05, 2007

Book Review> The Politics of Jesus: Written by Obery Hendricks

9780385516648 The Politics of Jesus
Rediscovering the True Revolutionary Nature of Jesus' Teachings and How They Have Been Corrupted

Written by Obery Hendricks
Religion | Doubleday | Hardcover | August 2006 | $26.00 | 978-0-385-51664-8 (0-385-51664-9)

About this Book

From Elaine Pagels's Beyond Belief to Jim Wallis's God's Politics, investigations into the relationship between the historical foundations of Christianity and the role of religion in today's world have risen to the top of bestseller lists. Obery Hendricks, Jr., who was Pagels's first graduate student at Princeton University, adds an important new voice to the ongoing discussion in THE POLITICS OF JESUS. Filled with riveting, original insights, it confirms Cornel West's declaration that "Obery Hendricks is not just on the cutting edge, he's the knife."

Focusing on a powerful but little-examined aspect of the Gospels, Hendricks portrays Jesus as a political revolutionary whose teachings are meant to lead the way to freedom from the tyranny of principalities and unjust rulers in high—and low—places. Throughout the Gospels, Jesus employs various tactics to address the social, economic, and political conditions of his day and exposes the terrible effects of oppression and poverty on the mind, body, and soul.

In an in-depth examination of Christianity's history, from its foundation through the time of Paul to the reign of Constantine to the present day, Hendricks traces how the church became a hierarchical structure, protective of the powerful and intent on maintaining the status quo. THE POLITICS OF JESUS recaptures the revolutionary implications of Christianity, and calls on Christians to embrace anew the core values of Jesus' message and restore his fight to alleviate the suffering of underprivileged and abused peoples.


Praise for The Politics of Jesus:

"In The Politics of Jesus, Obery Hendricks articulates a critical prophetic message that interrogates our nation's politics according to the values of Jesus. With stunning clarity he offers powerful new insights. This book is a must-read for everyone who seeks to understand and live out the revolutionary implications of following Christ." —Jim Wallis, editor of Sojourners and author of God's Politics

"This book is a grand prophetic work—courageous in its message, meticulous in its scholarship, and relevant in its challenge to our sleepwalking times. Hendricks recasts the prevailing view of the meek and mild Jesus in a powerful and persuasive way." —Cornel West, University Professor of Religion, Princeton University

"The Politics of Jesus is an instant classic—a book of stunning erudition, remarkable eloquence, and political courage. But more than that, Hendricks gives us a pioneering account of the revolutionary Jesus that has rarely been as systematically expounded, or as theologically sophisticated, as this monumental work provides. Hendricks's book is that nearly impossible combination: brilliant intellectual study and practical programmatic prescription. The Politics of Jesus immediately thrusts Obery Hendricks, Jr., to the front ranks of American religious thinkers." —Michael Eric Dyson, author of Pride: The Seven Deadly Sins

"Jesus was one of the Jewish people's most revolutionary prophetic voices, and Obery Hendricks shows in The Politics of Jesus that Jesus' teachings are as powerfully relevant for us today as they were in his own day. A powerful thinker and inspiring teacher, Hendricks presents a rereading of the New Testament and contemporary politics that will challenge, enlighten, and help to transform the burning debate about religion's role in American society and politics." —Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of Tikkun and author of The Left Hand of God: Taking Back Our Country from the Religious Right

"Professor Obery Hendricks does a needed service to the Christian and non-Christian communities by reminding us of the challenge of the Ministry of Jesus to all earthly kingdoms in the name and service of the Kingdom of God. The Politics of Jesus is a sobering and needed prospective from which to inform our faith understanding." —William J. Shaw, president, National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.
"The Politics of Jesus is an explosive and courageous prophetic work that calls us to revisit the life and words of Jesus to discern the true nature of his politics and his message for our time." —David C. Korten, author of The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth and When Corporations Rule the World

"Obery Hendricks's new book, The Politics of Jesus, is a gift in a time that is out of joint, with its radical portrayal of a radical Jesus, and the promise of freedom in an age of tyranny." —Gary Percesepe, Ph.D., coordinating director, Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America

"Our nation needs a spirited debate about the truth of the Gospel. The Politics of Jesus delivers the goods. Prepare to be profoundly engaged. There is not a lukewarm page in it." —Rev. Michael E. Livingston, president, National Council of Churches, USA, and executive director, International Council of Community Churches

"What a liberating and challenging view of Jesus Obery Hendricks offers! The Politics of Jesus is not only a profound reflection on Jesus as revolutionary; it provides a blueprint for action." —Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for a Free Choice

About the Author

OBERY M. HENDRICKS, JR., is Professor of Biblical Interpretation at the New York Theological Seminary, an Ordained Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and the author of Living Water. He has served as a professor at Drew University, as visiting scholar at Princeton Theological Seminary, and as president of Payne Theological Seminary, the oldest African American theological institution in the United States. He lives in New Jersey.

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