And Inclusive Approach to New Testament Ethics
Walter Wink Auburn Theological Seminary "In this monumental work Richard Burridge has identified the fundamental question facing South African theology today: How can we insure that apartheid will never happen again? His answer is pertinent to the entire theological world: by following and imitating Jesus. This is the one thing pro-apartheid theology did not do. No imitation of Jesus could justify such violence and oppression or condone schemes of 'separate development' or noninclusivity."Imitating Jesus"says it all, but it is only the beginning of the fruitful reward of Burridge's contribution."Frank J. Matera Catholic University of America "The ethical teaching of the New Testament and its normative value remains a central issue for New Testament studies. In this refreshing new book, Richard Burridge employs a narrative-biographical approach to illuminate the ethical teaching of Jesus and to explain how Paul and the Evangelists communicated that teaching through their narrative christologies. Not content with a merely descriptive analysis of the material, Burridge faces the hermeneutical question head-on: how should we apply the moral teaching of the New Testament to our situation today? Comprehensive in scope and in dialogue with the full range of scholarship, "Imitating Jesus"is one of those rare studies that moves the discipline forward."David G. Horrell University of Exeter "In this major new study of New Testament ethics, Richard Burridge pursues the implications of his influential work on the genre of the Gospels. If they are ancient biographies, then we should not simply focus on the ethical teachings of Jesus, but rather consider how the Gospels present his life, his actions, and his teaching, as an example for his followers to imitate. . . This wide-ranging and thought-provoking study will be of considerable interest to all who are concerned with the ways in which the New Testament's ethics are interpreted and applied by Christians today. In particular it should inform and shape the way in which crucial and heated debates are pursued in the churches, offering a challenging vision of the inclusive practice that should characterize those who are followers of Jesus."Gerald West University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa "The Bible still matters in many contexts. It certainly matters in South Africa, having shaped our history, both from the side of colonialism and apartheid and from the side of our liberation struggle. The South African context therefore provides an important site for Richard Burridge's project. Surrounding his South African case study are an in-depth engagement with the full array of scholarship on New Testament ethics and his own careful reading of particular New Testament texts. But it is the South African site that provides Burridge with an answer to the 'so what?' question. Vast amounts of biblical scholarship stop short of moving beyond a piling up of ancient detail. Burridge goes beyond the detail to risk saying something about how and why the detail matters. And while we in South Africa will derive a special benefit from this study, those in other contexts will also find much that resonates with their own contexts."Allen Verhey Duke Divinity School "Richard Burridge's"Imitating Jesus"is a welcome addition to the literature on New Testament ethics. I commend it and recommend it for its attention to the story of Jesus as the foundation of New Testament ethics, for its attention to genre, for its emphasis on both the rigorous moral teachings and the radically inclusive acceptance of the New Testament, and for its emphasis on the hermeneutical significance of reading the Bible in an inclusive community.""Christian Century" "Burridge engages past scholarship so well and makes such clear, cogent arguments that readers relatively new to the topic will likely find his approach useful.""Living Church&q
Richard A Burridge is dean of King's College in London, where he also lectures in the theology department.