Coping with Violence in the New Testament

Coping with Violence in the New Testament


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Violence is present in the very heart of religion and its sacred traditions - also of Christianity and the Bible. The problem, however, is not only that violence is ingrained in the mere existence of religions with their sacred traditions. It is equally problematic to realise that the icy grip of violence on the sacred has gone unnoticed and unchallenged for a very long time. The present publication aims to contribute to the recent scholarly debate about the interconnections between violence and monotheistic religions by analysing the role of violence in the New Testament as well as by offering some hermeneutical perspectives on violence as it is articulated in the earliest Christian writings.

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Product details

  • Hardback | 306 pages
  • 166 x 246 x 22mm | 680.39g
  • Brill
  • Leiden, Netherlands
  • English
  • 9004221042
  • 9789004221048
  • 1,365,045

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Author Information

Pieter G.R. de Villiers, D.Th. (1976), University of Stellenbosch, is Professor Extraordinarius of New Testament at the University of the Free State. He has published extensively on apocalyptic literature, mysticism and violence/peace in the New Testament. Jan Willem van Henten, Ph.D. (1986) in Theology, University of Leiden, is Professor of New Testament at the University of Amsterdam. He has published extensively on ancient martyrdom, apocalypticism and Josephus including Martyrdom and Noble Death (2002, with F. Avemarie).

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Review quote

"Die internationale Diskussion um 'Gewalt und Religion' wird mit dieser Veroffentlichung bereichert. Der Band zeigt, dass auch die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft sich an dem anstehenden theologisch-kulturwissenschaftlichen Dialog beteiligen kann und muss." "The international discussion about 'Violence and Religion' is enriched by this publication. This volume shows that also New Testament scholars can participate in the ongoing theological and cultural debate, and that they should." Eckart Reinmuth (Rostock) in Theologische Literaturzeitung 138 "The value of this work lies in its questions. [...] De Villiers, in his concluding contribution, raises perhaps the most profound question: does violence reside 'in the character of God'?" Jordan Daniel Wood (Saint Louis University, USA) in International Journal of Public Theology 8 (2014) "This collection is to be commended for several reasons. First, [...] all the essays exhibit much methodological sophistication and display extensive knowledge of theories on violence and previous works that address violence in the New Testament. [...] Secondly, several essays bring their reflection on biblical texts to bear on the context of violence in contemporary societies. [...] Finally, the essays thoroughly identify and describe the instances, contexts, and functions of violent language in the New Testament." Jean-Francois Racine (Santa Clara University) in Theological Studies 2014, vol. 75:1, 209-220.

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