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Imitating Jesus: An Inclusive Approach to New Testament Ethics

Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. / 2007 / Paperback

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Product Description

In contrast to many studies of New Testament ethics, which treat the New Testament in general and Paul in particular, this book focuses on the person of Jesus himself. Richard Burridge maintains that imitating Jesus means following both his words - which are very demanding ethical teachings - and his deeds and example of being inclusive and accepting of everyone. Burridge carefully and systematically traces that combination of rigorous ethical instruction and inclusive community through the letters of Paul and the four Gospels, treating specific ethical issues pertaining to each part of Scripture. The book culminates with a chapter on apartheid as an ethical challenge to reading the New Testament; using South Africa as a contemporary case study enables Burridge to highlight and further apply his previous discussion and conclusions.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Vendor: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Publication Date: 2007
ISBN: 0802844588
ISBN-13: 9780802844583
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

In contrast to many studies of New Testament ethics, which treat the New Testament in general and Paul in particular, this book focuses on the person of Jesus himself. Richard Burridge maintains that imitating Jesus means following both his words -- which are very demanding ethical teachings -- and his deeds and example of being inclusive and accepting of everyone.

Burridge carefully and systematically traces that combination of rigorous ethical instruction and inclusive community through the letters of Paul and the four Gospels, treating specific ethical issues pertaining to each part of Scripture. The book culminates with a chapter on apartheid as an ethical challenge to reading the New Testament; using South Africa as a contemporary case study enables Burridge to highlight and further apply his previous discussion and conclusions.

Author Bio

Richard A. Burridge is dean of King's College London,where he is also professor of biblical interpretation anddirector of New Testament studies.

Editorial Reviews

Walter Wink
— Auburn Theological Seminary
"In this monumental work Richard Burridge has identified the fundamental question facing South African theology today: How can we insure that apartheid will never happen again? His answer is pertinent to the entire theological world: by following and imitating Jesus. This is the one thing pro-apartheid theology did not do. No imitation of Jesus could justify such violence and oppression or condone schemes of 'separate development' or noninclusivity. Imitating Jesus says it all, but it is only the beginning of the fruitful reward of Burridge's contribution."

Frank J. Matera
— Catholic University of America
"The ethical teaching of the New Testament and its normative value remains a central issue for New Testament studies. In this refreshing new book, Richard Burridge employs a narrative-biographical approach to illuminate the ethical teaching of Jesus and to explain how Paul and the Evangelists communicated that teaching through their narrative christologies. Not content with a merely descriptive analysis of the material, Burridge faces the hermeneutical question head-on: how should we apply the moral teaching of the New Testament to our situation today? Comprehensive in scope and in dialogue with the full range of scholarship, Imitating Jesus is one of those rare studies that moves the discipline forward."

David G. Horrell
— University of Exeter
"In this major new study of New Testament ethics, Richard Burridge pursues the implications of his influential work on the genre of the Gospels. If they are ancient biographies, then we should not simply focus on the ethical teachings of Jesus, but rather consider how the Gospels present his life, his actions, and his teaching, as an example for his followers to imitate. . . This wide-ranging and thought-provoking study will be of considerable interest to all who are concerned with the ways in which the New Testament's ethics are interpreted and applied by Christians today. In particular it should inform and shape the way in which crucial and heated debates are pursued in the churches, offering a challenging vision of the inclusive practice that should characterize those who are followers of Jesus."

Gerald West
— University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
"The Bible still matters in many contexts. It certainly matters in South Africa, having shaped our history, both from the side of colonialism and apartheid and from the side of our liberation struggle. The South African context therefore provides an important site for Richard Burridge's project. Surrounding his South African case study are an in-depth engagement with the full array of scholarship on New Testament ethics and his own careful reading of particular New Testament texts. But it is the South African site that provides Burridge with an answer to the 'so what?' question. Vast amounts of biblical scholarship stop short of moving beyond a piling up of ancient detail. Burridge goes beyond the detail to risk saying something about how and why the detail matters. And while we in South Africa will derive a special benefit from this study, those in other contexts will also find much that resonates with their own contexts."

Allen Verhey
— Duke Divinity School
"Richard Burridge's Imitating Jesus is a welcome addition to the literature on New Testament ethics. I commend it — and recommend it — for its attention to the story of Jesus as the foundation of New Testament ethics, for its attention to genre, for its emphasis on both the rigorous moral teachings and the radically inclusive acceptance of the New Testament, and for its emphasis on the hermeneutical significance of reading the Bible in an inclusive community."

Christian Century
"Burridge engages past scholarship so well and makes such clear, cogent arguments that readers relatively new to the topic will likely find his approach useful."

Living Church
"Imitating Jesus is so richly packed with references, quotes, and scriptural analysis that readers interested in the study of ethics — or the Bible itself — will not leave disappointed. . . Imitating Jesus is accessible and worth a read."

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