Friday, February 09, 2007

Abba & Imperial Theology

I'm currently reading through The Historical Jesus in Context, making sure that I emerse myself in primary sources. It's a fascinating read, and one that I readily recommend. Check out this quote...
Jews of the time, including Jesus, and the early Christians who cherished his memory, found in their God a father and king immeasurably greater than Rome’s ruler of the world. To announce God’s kingdom, God’s reign, was to remind oneself and one’s fellow Jews that it is God an not the emperor who truly reigns, to call upon the divine Father is to place oneself under a protection far greater than the reach of Rome. This is not to say that Jewish understandings of God as father originated under Roman influence; it is quite clear that the divine Father appears in much earlier texts. Rather, the resistance inspired by Roman rule and the accommodations it required enhanced the urgency of calls upon the Father and maker of all.[1]
D'Angelo continues with a smackeral of quotes from Jewish and Gentile sources concerning Fatherhood and the Emperor. Very informative...
[1] Mary Rose D’Angelo “Abba and Father: Imperial Theology in the Contexts of Jesus and the Gospels” in The Historical Jesus in Context eds. A. J. Levine, D. C. Allison Jr. and J. D. Crossan (Princeton University Press, 2006) pg. 66.
See also: M.R. D’ANGELO, "Abba and ‘Father’: Imperial Theology and the Jesus Traditions", JBL 111 (1992) 611-630.

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