A God of Incredible Surprises: Jesus of Galilee (Celebrating Faith) [Hardcover]

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Why was Jesus, Son of God, from an obscure village in Galilee? What does it mean to our spirituality that he chose not to seek favor from the powerful, but identified with the marginalized, the powerless and those in need of healing? In this remarkable rereading of the life of Jesus, theologian Virgilio Elizondo, cited by TIME Magazine as one of the spiritual innovators of our time, focuses on the humanity of Jesus and the healing his life offers to ourselves and our world today. Readers of this book will see Jesus in a new and powerful way. This is a thought-changing and life-changing book.

Item Specifications...

Pages   176
Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 5.75" Height: 8.5"
Weight:   0.8 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jan 1, 2004
Publisher   Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
ISBN  0742533883  
EAN  9780742533882  

Availability  0 units.

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1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Christology   [2037  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?

Joyful surprises...  Feb 6, 2004
Virgilio Elizondo is one of the foremost theologians in America, particularly when it comes to looking at issues from the Hispanic/Latino perspective. Currently on the faculty at Notre Dame, he has spent time in practical ministry as well as teaching and administrative positions throughout his interesting career.

This book is not so much a theology or history text (Elizondo has written in these areas) but rather a spirituality book, drawing on his own experiences as well as those of his community and his scholarly background. It is truly interesting to see how the influence of his Latino background impacts his spirituality in a North American context. The interplay of ideas and cultures (sometimes clashing, sometimes complementary) makes for new insights.

Elizondo draws his section headings from almost entirely from gospel lines. For example, in highlighting Matthew 11:28 (`Come to me, all you who labour and are burdened, and I will give you rest') he mentions his Latino university students who find in the church not just a place to worship, but rather as a `hang-out', a place to meet new friends, and a welcoming space for those without much money, as many of his students were, and weren't questioned as to why they were there - in many ways, this reflects the crowds who followed Jesus around. In highlighting another passage, John 1:46 (`Can anything good come from Nazareth?'), Elizondo likens this to the problem of coming from the wrong side of the tracks, the wrong side of town, or the wrong class. Yet in this way (also drawing on John 7:41, that the messiah would not come from Galilee) Jesus can bring about change without being co-opted by the system, or by expectations.

Through insights such as this, virtually every page is a new way of thinking and reflecting. Elizondo is sensitive to issues of culture, race, class, and religion, and shows how these are more embedded in our thoughts than we might think. Elizondo's liberation theology framework is evident in that he looks at Jesus as the champion for the underclass and the oppressed, as a person at the margins for those on the margins of society. Elizondo challenges ideas that mainline denominations often hold of Jesus as a figure of comfort and complacency.

This book would make a wonderful Lenten study for individuals or groups. It also would make a good book for looking at Christology in a non-traditional way.

Good theology starts from life experiences  Jan 2, 2004
Virgilio Elizondo is well known for his commitment as a pastoral theologian promoting mestizo theology. This book presents a christology that takes its bearings to a large extent from his encounters with fellow Mexican American men and women and from his parish ministry in San Antonio, Texas. It also shows a broad scientific erudition and it clearly relies on intense conversations with colleagues and friends. Basically, this christology constitutes an exploration of New Testament passages from the perspective of the following question : « How does Jesus of Galilee become the Christ to persons who feel doomed to exclusion and marginalization because of their mixed-race or mixed-ethnic origins ? » (5) This is, of course, also an approach that will provide the reader with a glance at the faith intimacy of V. Elizondo himself. The answer to the question is that of a friend, with whom one shares the reading of scripture texts to discover that surprising other friend, Jesus of Galilee.

From a christological point of view this book is important as it exemplifies how marginalized men and women read the narratives of Jesus so that these become for them truly healing and empowering encounters with Christ. From the perspective of theological method V. Elizondo introduces a promising approach that connects well with the growing importance of contextual theologies. The creative and stimulating interaction between life and text that we find here, offers surprising insights both in the experience of marginalization and in the meaning of the scriptural texts. The reader discovers supposedly well-known New Testament passages with a fresh eye and in the process comes closer to the mystery itself of God's presence in Jesus of Galilee, who was himself a marginalized person with the capacity to feast and celebrate life, who valued friendship and community, whose loving commitment to others turns the suffering on the cross into strength and joy for those friends who suffer marginalization, feelings of insecurity and exclusion.

When the healing power and joy of Jesus of Galilee are so strongly transmitted to mestizo men and women, to the extent that they experience that he is the Christ of God, then light is also shed on who Jesus himself was and how God worked and continues to work in him for us. Indeed, friends know friends. Not surprisingly, V. Elizondo suggest a mestizo christology : Jesus of Galilee is so understandable to mestizo men and women because he himself experienced mestizo reality as his own. If we were to look for Jesus today, it would not be a bad idea to follow the star - the New Testament passages as interpreted by V. Elizondo - to San Antonio, Texas. This is a truly stimulating and consoling book, in which theology and biblical interpretation become a gift of life.


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