Academic journal article Theological Studies

Jesus Christ, Peacemaker: A New Theology of Peace

Academic journal article Theological Studies

Jesus Christ, Peacemaker: A New Theology of Peace

Article excerpt

Jesus Christ, Peacemaker: A New Theology of Peace. By Terrence J. Rynne. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2014. Pp. v + 253. $25.

Rynne's volume is a well-articulated recovery of an ancient Christian theology of peace that was tragically eclipsed by an understanding of the faith that often did not serve peace well. R. begins with a clear telling of the story of the violent Palestinian world where Christian nonviolence was born and first practiced. Contrasting with the nonviolence of Jesus was the violence of the Roman occupation of Palestine and the counterviolence of Jewish revolutionaries.

R. argues that Jesus' proclamation of the kingdom of God was a call to nonviolence, which he proclaimed was modeled by his practice of compassion and willingness to suffer for the coming of kingdom. And R. cites many contemporary biblical scholars in his defense. Particularly useful is the careful analysis of the Sermon on the Mount, in which, R. contends, Jesus taught proactive but nonviolent resistance to injustice, the love of enemies, and forgiveness, all of which led him to the cross. Still, the cross was not the end; the resurrection validated this way of nonviolence. …

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