Contra Imperium : Biblical foundations of an anti-imperial theology.

Lotay, Kiran (2012) Contra Imperium : Biblical foundations of an anti-imperial theology. Masters thesis, University of Wales, Trinity St David.

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Abstract

The current financial crisis, and the controversy surrounding equality legislation and conservative Christians, merits serious theological consideration. The anti-imperial interpretation of the New Testament is a relatively new discipline with roots in the slightly older tradition of liberation theology. It has frequently highlighted the disturbing parallels between the Western economy and the injustice of Babylon in its reading of Revelation. A response to this injustice has also been articulated in the last decade through the anti-imperial interpretation of Paul's letters by Richard A. Horsley and others. This dissertation partly seeks to assess the contribution of the anti-imperial interpretation of Revelation 13, 17 & 18, and 1 Corinthians, to understanding and responding to the financial crisis. Is its critique of the Western economy through Revelation accurate and justified, and is Horsley's anti-imperial vision an appropriate response? However, since anti-imperial scholars have not yet discussed the controversy surrounding the relationship between Christians and equality legislation, this dissertation also asks the question of whether their model can aid in understanding and responding to it as well. The model is partly vindicated by the grim fact that it reveals in both situations the characteristics of Babylon and the Beasts which lead to their destruction. Unfortunately, Richard Horsley's anti-imperial vision provides only a partial response to this recognition. The opposition of the Church to the unjust practices of surrounding society is clear in Paul's teaching. However, by not mentioning that Christ's love conditions this opposition, he allows for dangerous misappropriation. This is made particularly likely by the strong emotions the issues examined often evoke. To fill the gap in Horsley's vision, it is then compared with the relevant elements of Oliver O'Donovan's political theology. O'Donovan takes into account the conditioning influence of Christ's love, and so provides the foundation for a more biblically faithful response.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Additional Information: Series: Carmarthen / Lampeter Dissertations;10412/276.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Liberation theology, Bible Hermeneutics
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
Divisions: Theses and Dissertations
Depositing User: John Dalling
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2014 14:17
Last Modified: 25 Feb 2016 12:54
URI: http://repository.uwtsd.ac.uk/id/eprint/408

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