R. Alan Streett Subversive Meals

ISBN 13: 9781498263313

Subversive Meals

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9781498263313: Subversive Meals
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About the Contributor(s): R. Alan Streett (PhD, University of Wales) is Senior Research Professor of Biblical Exegesis and the W. A. Criswell Endowed Chair of Expository Preaching at Criswell College, Dallas, Texas.

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Eating the Lord's Supper was an act of political resistance ----

Subversive Meals examines the Lord's Supper within the socio-political context of first-century CE Roman domination, and concludes that it was an anti-imperial praxis. Although the Christian communal meal looked much like a typical Roman banquet in structure with a deipnon and a symposion, it was essentially different. The Roman meal supported the empire's ideology, honored Caesar and the gods, reinforced stratification among the masses, and upheld Rome's right to rule the world. The Christian meal, on the other hand, included hymns that extolled Jesus as Lord, prophecies that challenged Rome's ideological claims, and letters--read aloud--that promoted egalitarianism and instructed believers how to live according to kingdom of God principles. Hence, the Christian banquet was an act of non-violent resistance, or what James C. Scott calls a "hidden transcript."

The nascent Jesus movement looked to: 1) the Passover, a covenant meal of political liberation; 2) Jesus' counter-imperial mealtime teachings; and 3) his kingdom-oriented interpretation of the Last Supper as bases for its own meal practices.

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"Worship is politics. Alan Streett sets the Lord's Supper in the context of Passover and Jesus' mealtime teaching to argue astutely that it was an anti-imperial praxis. It contested Roman rule, ideology, and stratified social practice with theological and Christological counter-assertions, and egalitarian social practices. Streett's insightful argument makes a significant contribution in recasting understandings of the Lord's Supper."
 
Warren Carter, Professor of New Testament,
Brite Divinity School, TCU (Fort Worth, TX)
 
"The concept behind this book is brilliant, and Streett has given it a thorough and judicious study.  This book will serve as a benchmark for future scholarly debates about early Christian meals and anti-imperial rhetoric."
 
Dennis E. Smith, LaDonna Kramer Meinders Professor of New Testament,
Phillips Theological Seminary (Tulsa, OK)
 
"The Passover meal was a celebration of liberation from the ancient Egyptian Empire. So if the Lord's Supper continued the tradition of the Passover celebration, as Streett contends, wasn't it a celebration of liberation from the Roman Empire? Alan Streett has 'connected the dots' in a careful step by step analysis and argument. For those loyal to a Lord who transcended Caesar as Lord, the Supper quickly became the central ceremony of their cohesive communities, which collectively formed an alternative, anti-imperial society."
 
Richard A. Horsley, Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and Religion,
University of Massachusetts (Boston, MA)
 
"Working especially with the New Testament writings of Luke and Paul, Streett demonstrates the surprisingly political significance of the early church's Lord's Supper. That is, the Supper had not only to do with the church's internal life but spoke profoundly of the church's rejection of Roman imperial ideology and the practices by which it was propagated. The consequences of this study are both historically important and theologically challenging, since Streett's work participates in the ongoing destruction of the walls that separate theology and practice, and worship and politics."
 
Joel B. Green, Professor of New Testament Interpretation,
Fuller Theological Seminary (Pasadena, CA)

About the Author:

R. Alan Streett (PhD, University of Wales) is Senior Research Professor of Biblical Exegesis and the W. A. Criswell Endowed Chair of Expository Preaching at Criswell College, Dallas, Texas.

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9781620320181: Subversive Meals: An Analysis of the Lord's Supper under Roman Domination during the First Century

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