Two new books are out now! Learn more about Joerg Rieger’s recent publications here.
When we observe a tension between Jesus and Caesar, we acknowledge that a fundamental tension remains at the heart of Christianity. The tension is not between religion and atheism or secularism. Nor is it between organized religion and personal spirituality or between Christianity and other religions. The tension is located within the heart of Christianity itself because it is a radical conflict between faith that is life-giving for all and faith that is damaging and destructive of people and the earth. This book serves as an indictment of the pieties of empire and their push for political, economic, cultural, and religious domination. Some forms of Christian faith (Jesus) versus other forms of Christian faith (Caesar). Whom and what will we trust and serve? Jesus embodies and exposes this tension in ways that transform destructive images of God, engender political and economic resilience, and model solidarity with others who are radically different, including other religions. This tension between life-giving and malignant religion is a critical opportunity for those who seek to follow Jesus instead of “Caesar.”
With contributions by Paulo Ayres Mattos, Helmut Renders, and JosÉ Carlos de Souza, this book invites you to rethink core concepts of the Christian faith in the invigorating, life-giving light of grace that has the power to change everything. We all live with the pressures of life; but those at the margins, at the edges, the fringes of society struggle mightily. Our thinking about God, our theology, is rooted in the bloody tooth and claw of gritty existence. Those of us who enjoy the privileges of life are too easily preoccupied with ourselves, our problems, our idiosyncratic view of self and other. Without grace, we cannot formulate hopes and dreams for the future; and the church, as the community of faith, cannot make a difference and transform the world. Without re-envisioning our self-serving images of God, we exist as a people without a vision and many are already perishing. This book is not about religion or morality. It is about grace, grace that works in the midst of pressure to liberate us in sync with the struggles of others around the world for liberation. Thus we can authentically experience God and others in the midst of the everyday not just on the mountaintop.