Franciscan Media, 2013
Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
Random House, 2013
The Liars’ Gospel
Little, Brown, and Company, 2013
The Sacredness of Human Life
David P. Gushee
Christianity is in the process of a dramatic renewal, reclaiming the spiritual wisdom, ethical seriousness, and revolutionary fervor of Jesus of Nazareth. These four new books—when read in conjunction with Benedictine Sister Joan Chittister, Father John Dear, Rosemary Radford Ruether, Rev. Brian McLaren, Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, Walter Brueggemann, Robin Meyers, Matthew Fox, Wes Howard-Brook, Shane Claiborne, and Rev. Tony Campolo—will show you why.
First and foremost, there is the great Catholic teacher Richard Rohr. Books of daily meditations can be bland and boring, but the meditations Rohr has selected for Yes, And… are exciting, soul-renewing, and deep. Reza Aslan highlights Jesus the revolutionary zealot who walked across the Galilee gathering an army of disciples with the goal of establishing the Kingdom of God on earth. He describes Jesus as a magnetic preacher who defied the authority of the Temple priesthood in Jerusalem, a radical Jewish nationalist who challenged the Roman occupation and lost. Naomi Alderman’s novel reimagines Jesus from the standpoint of his mother Miriam (Mary), his disciple Yehudah (Judas), Caiaphas the high priest of the Temple, and Bar-Avo (a Jewish terrorist against Rome). The reader comes away with a picture of the complexity and power of Jesus. Meanwhile, David Gushee takes the best ethical tradition within Christianity and shows how it still provides a significant and sensitive path for dealing with the complexities and conundrums of the contemporary world.
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