Fortress Press

Jesus and the Powers: Conflict, Covenant, and the Hope of the Poor

Jesus and the Powers

Conflict, Covenant, and the Hope of the Poor

Richard A. Horsley (Author)


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Refusing a false dichotomy between "politics" and "religion" in Jesus' world (and our own), Jesus and the Powers rediscovers Jesus' response to the imperial power of his day. Richard A. Horsley describes the relevance of political realities under great empires for understanding the rise of covenantal theology and apocalyptic vision in Israel's history. Then he explores aspects of Jesus' activity in the context of the Roman Empire. Horsley examines Jesus as an exorcist and prophetic figure and the character of his death by crucifixion. He also shows how the community life in the early Pauline assemblies gave form to a new response to imperial powers--and stimulus to contemporary readers to re-imagine their own response to political realities in our own day.
  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9780800697082
  • eBook ISBN 9781451416992
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 256
  • Publication Date October 1, 2010


"The Powers That Be are among the most puzzling aspects in all Scripture. Horsley brings together the theme of the restoration of the people of God with the transformation of the Powers in an illuminating and accessible style. The implications of the teaching and acts of Jesus for our own time blaze a trail in this brilliant and thought–provoking book."
—Walter Wink
Author of Naming the Powers: The Language of Power in the New Testament
and Transforming the Powers: Peace, Justice, and the Domination System

"In Jesus and the Powers, Richard Horsley synthesizes a broad array of insights into the polyvalent character of 'power' in ancient cultures and brings this synthesis to bear on a provocative description of the message, activities, and impact of Jesus. Horsley takes seriously not only the context in which Jesus lived, called for renewal, and died but also the sustained narrative presentations of the Gospels as the basis for an account of Jesus' life and significance. Especially stimulating is Horsley's account of the crucifixion as the decisive moment of empowerment for the continuation and growth of the early Jesus movements."
—Daniel A. Smith
Associate Professor of New Testament Language and Literature
Huron University College, London, Ontario