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Number of Pages: 285
Vendor: Yale University Press
Publication Date: 1993
|Dimensions: 9 1/4 X 6 (inches)|
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.
Christian Perspectives on Politics: Revised & ExpandedJ. Philip WogamanWestminster John Knox Press / 2000 / Trade Paperback$27.00 Retail:
$30.00Save 10% ($3.00)Availability: In StockCBD Stock No: WW32013
Loving the Poor, Saving the Rich: Wealth, Poverty, and Early Christian FormationHelen RheeBaker Academic / 2012 / Trade Paperback$13.29 Retail:
$30.00Save 56% ($16.71)Availability: In StockCBD Stock No: WW048241
Philip TuttSacramento, CAAge: Over 65Gender: male2 Stars Out Of 5Disappointing and IrritatingAugust 5, 2012Philip TuttSacramento, CAAge: Over 65Gender: maleQuality: 2Value: 1Meets Expectations: 1
This book began as a series of lectures given by Prof. Meeks at Oxford, in 1990 and 1991, with some earlier lecture material included. Unfortunately it reads pretty much like that throughout--more of a windy academic exercise than an informative journey of discovery into the origins of "Christian morality".
For example, the author has an irritating habit of populating his development of a point with Greek (and occasional Latin) terms, usually centering around a New Testament text. This is the sort of thing one gets at a graduate seminar; it is to that venue that it should be confined. If I do not know Greek (or Latin), I am not thereby enlightened. If I do, I then I do not need the author's quote. The overall analysis suffers as a result.
I had higher expectations of the book. The stated purpose, "to attempt to construct a kind of ethnography of Christian beginnings", is largely unmet, or works at cross-purposes with the analysis of some well and succinctly stated major themes in and underlying Christian thinking.
For example, the author points out (in so many words) that there is a substantial and influential residue of superstition in Christian ritual. The challenge to the reader is to say why these are thought to reflect "truth", as opposed to their pagan counterparts. One thing that the author does suggest (a point with which I heartily agree) is that the mere persistence of Christianity over time is not an adequate answer.
If I had my way with a revision, I would suggest that the author jettison chapters 1-8, and focus on the material (much of it admirable) in chapters 9-11. The "thesis" segment of the Postscript, which contains much of value, would be better stated and developed as a separate work.
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