Jesus as a Political Liberator

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  • Jesus as a Political Liberator
    • Arguments
      • the Jews hoped for a Messiah to come and save them and lead them to victory over the Romans - this is what Jesus did
        • a Messiah is the person the Jews believe would come and save the Jews and lead them to victory over the Romans
      • many parts of the Bible demonstrate Jesus as a confrontational figure, e.g. when he cast out the money changers from the temple
      • it has been suggested Jesus was a criminal as he was crucified next to other criminals. this is because he broke the Roman law
      • he healed a blind man with a mixture of mud and saliva which represents him breaking the Jewish law in an unclean way
      • Jesus challenged religious authority - his teachings of the Sabbath day went against that of contemporary times, such as the Pharisees criticisms of the temples which led to conflict
      • he gives preference to the poor and oppressed rather than the rich and powerful to give them hope of salvation e.g. the woman with a haemorrhage
        • "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction"
        • Gustavo Guiterrez: religion should be used to help the poor in order to make their lives better and give them a chance to get into heaven
      • he did not accept or use the political title himself
      • he emphasised peace
      • he spoke of a spiritual kingdom of god rather than a wordly one
      • he was careful with his answers to questions about Roman rule and taxes and did not suggest openly defying them
        • "give to Caesar what is Caesar's. Give to God what is God's"
      • Judas may have betrayed Jesus because he was not radical enough to be a Zealot
      • the church might only emphasise Jesus as the Son of God rather than a political leader for their own benefit
    • Quotes
      • "I have not come to bring peace, but a sword" - Matthew 10:34
        • shows Jesus believe in social unrest with benefits rather than social stability where people still struggled
      • "Blessed are the peacemakers"
    • Scholars
      • Leonardo Boff
        • "Jesus Christ is the liberator who seeks to be committed to the economical, social and political liberation of those groups that are oppressed and dominated"
        • Christianity teaches us to confront political authorities in order to make a more just and moral society
          • "love thy neighbour as yourself"
      • Gustavo Guiterrez
        • Jesus as a political liberator engages him in the world
        • liberation and salvation become the same thing because they both involve struggle and conflict which, although may be fear, is not ignored
      • S.G.E. Brandon
        • Jesus was more politically driven than later writers like to portray
      • Reza Aslan
        • Jesus may have been more closely associated with Zealots than the way he is presented in gospels
          • Zealots are Jews who called for violent revolution
          • reason 1: his followers drew daggers in the Garden of Gethsemane
            • However Jesus told them to put the daggers down which suggests he was not a Zealot
          • reason 2: his arrival to Jerusalem may have been deliberately organised to show him as the new Messiah
          • reason 3: the Romans put him on a cross and put a crown of thorns on his head suggesting he was the leader of a political group against the Romans in power. they may have done this to ridicule him or as a warning
      • Karl Marx
        • liberation theology: Jesus stopped the Jews being dehumanised and alienated
          • Marx's theory of alienation: idea that when humans are unable to live fulfilling lives due to being dehumanised they become alienated
            • people are dehumanised when they are exploited and tis is due to humans being treated like objects and being used as a means to an end
              • links to Immanuel Kant

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