rgst paper on jesus and politics and jesus and other religions

1. Jesus and Politics.

  • Describe Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7 and the problems of interpretation that it raises.
  • Describe Luther’s two kingdoms theory as an interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount, and its political significance.
  • Contrast Luther’s interpretation to the “non-violent non-cooperation” approach in Martin Luther King’s writings. What difference does it make?
  • Were Jesus’ message and actions political? In what way?
  • See Pelikan, ch. 14, ch. 17; lecture notes; and the excerpts from Martin Luther King on the website.
  • 2. Jesus and Other Religions.
  • Compare and contrast Gandhi’s approach to the figure of Jesus to some of the Hindu figures mentioned in Prothero, chap. 8. What are the similarities and differences?
  • Then compare Gandhi’s approach with the figure of Jesus as presented in the book by Thich Nhat Hanh. What are the similiarities and differences?
  • How and why do the Indian and Buddhist approaches add to our understanding of Jesus as a historical figure, and as a figure of religious devotion? Should these perspectives be important to people within the Christian tradition: why or why not, and how?
  • See Gandhi, What Jesus Means to Me; Prothero, ch. 8; lecture notes; Living Buddha, LIving Christ.
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