Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World by Rita Nakashima Brock

By Rita Nakashima Brock

Whilst Rita Brock and Rebecca Parker started touring the Mediterranean international looking for artwork depicting the lifeless, crucified Jesus, they found anything that conventional histories of Christianity and Christian paintings had underplayed or sought to give an explanation for away: it took Jesus Christ 1000 years to die.During their first millennium, Christians crammed their sanctuaries with pictures of Christ as a dwelling presence in a colourful global. He seems as a shepherd, a instructor, a healer, an enthroned god; he's an youngster, a adolescence, and a bearded elder. yet he's by no means useless. while he seems to be with the go, he stands in entrance of it, serene, resurrected. the realm round him is ablaze with attractiveness. those are photos of paradise-paradise during this global, permeated and blessed by way of the presence of God.But as soon as Jesus perished, loss of life used to be almost all he appeared in a position to do.Saving Paradise bargains a desirable new lens at the historical past of Christianity, from its first centuries to the current day, and asks how its early imaginative and prescient of good looks developed into considered one of torture. In tracing the adjustments in society and theology that marked the medieval emergence of pictures of Christ crucified, Saving Paradise exposes the imperial options embedded in theologies of redemptive violence and sheds new mild on Christianity's flip to holy battle. It finds how the hot international, validated via Christian conquest and colonization, is haunted by means of the lack of a religious figuring out of paradise the following and now.Brock and Parker reconstruct the concept salvation is paradise during this international and during this lifestyles, and so they supply a daring new theology for saving paradise. They floor justice and peace for humanity in love for the earth and open a brand new destiny for Christianity via a theology of redemptive attractiveness.

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Additional info for Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire

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He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless . Those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. Do not fear, for I am with you I will strengthen you, I will help you I will uphold you with my victorious right hand. (Isa. 40:28–41:13, excerpts) Though Isaiah asserted a form of monotheism, it was grounded in justice, rather than in favoritism or nationalism. God cared for the suffering and oppressed, and faithful people who were committed to the welfare of all would restore and sustain paradise.

It uses pardès to capture the eros of a beautiful garden: A garden locked is my sister, my bride, a garden locked, a fountain sealed. Your channel is an orchard [pardès] of pomegranates with all choicest fruits, henna with nard, nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense, myrrh and aloes, with all chief spices— a garden fountain, a well of living water, and flowing streams from Lebanon. (Song of Sol. 4:12–14) Phyllis Trible suggests that these references to a paradise garden harken back to Genesis and recapture the delight in the earth and human life in paradise.

15 Wisdom’s fate in the world was not, however, secured. 16 John explains, “He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. ” The world could ignore, disregard, or even oppose the life-giving ways of Logos. ” All who received Logos were given power “to become children of God” (John :, ). The prologue of John culminates with the creation of a human being who bore the image of God in the flesh: And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.

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