cover of book

Jesus and the Gospel Movement: Not Afraid to Be Partners
by William Thompson-Uberuaga
University of Missouri Press, 2006
Cloth: 978-0-8262-1633-5 | eISBN: 978-0-8262-6538-8
Library of Congress Classification BT202.T473 2006
Dewey Decimal Classification 232


The disciples. Mary Magdalene. Lazarus. The New Testament tells of Jesus, to be sure, but it is a Jesus depicted in interaction with many other people. Far too often, Jesus has been studied in isolation rather than as a person sharing relationships. This book seeks to rediscover Jesus in relation to the movement beginning to form around him.

            One of the few books to explore fully the political dimensions of the emerging church, Jesus and the Gospel Movement brings studies of Jesus and Christology into dialogue with today’s social and political sciences. William Thompson-Uberuaga seeks to penetrate the mist surrounding the historical Jesus by inviting readers to imagine him through the perspective of his relationships and to consider how those relationships helped shape his personality and commitments—not just the intellectual aspects but also his feelings, his affectionate bonds, and the reciprocal bonds he stimulated in others.

            This extended meditation represents the first book-length engagement with Voegelin scholarship on these issues, and scholars in Voegelin studies will find a challenging appropriation of that thinker’s political philosophy. It also draws on insights of other philosophers ranging from Nietzsche to Derrida, with a particular emphasis on Gadamer’s hermeneutical thought. Useful for courses in Jesus studies, Christology, and Christianity and politics, the text also features an Internet link to supplements accompanying each chapter, which have been written by the author especially for this book to enable students and readers to delve deeper into the thicket of scholarly debates concerning these issues.

            Thompson-Uberuaga asks readers to imagine the various beliefs about Jesus as the result of forms of participation, helping us make sense of how they emerged and offering a way of evaluating their validity—and arguing that we will form only a narrow, even lopsided view of Jesus if we consider him apart from his relationships. By daring a personal interpretation of Jesus and the Gospel movement that he and his companions originated, this book boldly challenges readers to risk their own interpretations and arrive at their own understanding of the Messiah.

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