Wednesday, March 19, 2014

[shared meals as the message of jesus]

By simply sitting at table with those widely regarded as morally contemptible, Jesus earned the scorn of the Pharisees and other strict observers of Jewish custom. By sharing meals with those considered by the religiously righteous to be outcasts and sinners, Jesus challenged "the central ordering principle of the Jewish social world." As Geza Vermes puts it, Jesus "took his stand among the pariahs of the world, those despised by the respectable. Sinners were his table-companions and the ostracized tax collectors and prostitutes were his friends." The meals Jesus shared with the outcasts were not, therefore, simply the occasion for the delivery of his message. They were the message. They served as "prophetic signs" meant to manifest the meaning of Jesus' ministry. They involved what Borg speaks of as a "radical relativizing of cultural distinctions."
Violence Unveiled: Humanity at the Crossroads, Gil Bailie, p. 213
Gil Bailie - Violence Unveiled - cover imageThis is the Jesus I want to follow.

Violence Unveiled is a fascinating book about myth, gospel, culture, mimetic theory and much more. I will be rereading it, and perhaps quoting more from it later. From a writing perspective, what I especially appreciate about it is that when Bailie refers to other literature, philosophers, and so on - which he does often, he provides quotes and context so that a reader like me is not at a loss.

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