The Politics of the Cross: The Theology and Ethics of John Howard Yoder

Journal of Religious Ethics 33 (1):139-174 (2005)

Authors
Craig Carter
Portland State University
Abstract
In his landmark monograph, "The Politics of Jesus", John Howard Yoder challenged mainstream Christian social ethics by arguing that the New Testament account of Jesus's founding of a messianic community entails a normative politics, not only for early Christianity but for the contemporary church. This challenge is further elaborated in several important posthumous publications, especially "Preface to Theology", in which Yoder examines the development of early Christology with attention to its political and ethical implications, and "The Jewish-Christian Schism Revisited", Yoder's proposal for a renewed Jewish-Christian dialogue around the moral meaning of messianism. This article interprets these writings with reference to a range of critical scholarship on and about Yoder, Yoder and Augustine, and Jewish and Christian messianism, paying particular attention to questions of political ethics
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