Jesus the Radical: The Parables and Modern Morality

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9780739187654: Jesus the Radical: The Parables and Modern Morality

Jesus the Radical: The Parables and Modern Morality connects the lessons of six parables of the New Testament with philosophical issues structured around contemporary morality and the art of leading a good human life. In this manner, Raymond Angelo Belliotti highlights just how radical was the historical Jesus’ moral message and how enormous a challenge he raised to the conventional wisdom of his time. More important, this book demonstrates how deeply opposed is Jesus’ moral message to the dominant moral understandings of our time. Although our conventional morality is generally profoundly influenced by Judeo-Christianity, several of Jesus’ revolutionary insights have been marginalized. By imagining how our world would appear if those insights were highlighted, we can perceive more clearly the people we are and the people we might become.

Belliotti's analysis of the parables will be of keen interest to professional philosophers, theologians, and educated lay people interested in the connections between religion and philosophy.

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About the Author:

Raymond Angelo Belliotti is SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of philosophy at the State University of New York at Fredonia. He is the author of fourteen books, including Posthumous Harm: Why the Dead are Still Vulnerable, Niccolo Machiavelli: The Laughing Lion and the Strutting Fox, and Roman Philosophy and the Good Life.

Review:

Belliotti examines the ethical ramifications of six parables attributed to Jesus in the New Testament. . . .Belliotti is conversant with solid scholarship and avoids inadvertent anti-Jewish interpretations. He explains the main camps of historical Jesus debates, from the Jesus Seminar to more traditional accounts. Amid these debates, he suggests that however one construes Jesus and his views on eschatology and the kingdom of God, the parables clearly make ethical demands in the present age. He compares these demands with insights from East and West. . . .This is a fine example of a serious philosopher putting ancient texts into critical dialogue with other classic works. This book will be especially useful for advanced undergraduate religion or philosophy seminars. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through researchers/faculty; general readers. (CHOICE)

“Jesus the Radical: The Parables and Modern Morality is essential reading for anyone—Christian or non-Christian—who thinks Jesus’ teachings are conventional, tame, and unchallenging. Raymond Angelo Belliotti offers a critical, searching, and engaging examination of Jesus’ parables, situating them in historical context, but also viewing them with an appreciative yet critical eye on their contribution to the field of ethics and to our own thinking about how we should live.” (Charles Taliaferro, St. Olaf College)

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