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Jesus and the Chaos of HistoryRedirecting the Life of the Historical Jesus$
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James Crossley

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199570577

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199570577.001.0001

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Does Jesus Plus Paul Equal Marx Plus Lenin?

Does Jesus Plus Paul Equal Marx Plus Lenin?

Redirecting the Historical Jesus

(p.3) 1 Does Jesus Plus Paul Equal Marx Plus Lenin?
Jesus and the Chaos of History

James G. Crossley

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at arguments concerning the ‘Jewishness’ of Jesus, the Otherness of his ‘background’, the apparently radical Jesuses, and the idea of Jesus the Great Man. It suggests that such arguments are typical of the rhetoric of contemporary liberal multiculturalism and liberal capitalism while masking a range of reasons for historical change. This chapter suggests alternative ways of approaching the quest for the historical Jesus/earliest Palestinian tradition. It develops ideas of how perceptions of socio-economic changes can generate protest movements which mimic and replicate power structures. This chapter looks at how the perceptions of socio-economic change in Galilee and Judea contributed to the rise of a ‘protest’, anti-imperial, or even ‘revolutionary’ movement while simultaneously reinscribing the language of empire and dominance. It looks at how ideas generated in contexts of social upheaval can be ignored, embraced, remain dormant, misinterpreted, or reapplied in a range of contexts.

Keywords:   biography, historiography, quest for the historical Jesus, Jesus the Jew, Great Man, revolution, empire, Mikhail Bakunin

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