Understanding Jesus, Revised Edition

Christology from Emmaus to Today

Course instructors considering a book for adoption will be provided a complimentary copy.
$29.95
Digital Books

”  .  .  .  a compelling exploration of the salvific effects of Christ’’s life, ministry, death, and resurrection designed to engage readers and take them on the journey that began with Emmaus and continues today. It is a refreshingly direct Christological overview in which [Christopher] McMahon allows the debates, concerns, and questions, not only of scholars but also of the faithful, to emerge from the texts and then to be addressed in a balanced and thoughtful manner.  .  .  .  McMahon offers crisp summaries, poignant questions for discussion and reflection, helpful charts, and sidebars, which serve as pedagogical tools. The book’’s open and inclusive approach invites readers from any background or perspective to make the journey and to encounter the richness and impact of Christ’’s life in the world.”

Shannon Schrein, OSF, Ph.D.
Lourdes University, Sylvania, Ohio

  .  .  .  an important bridge between contemporary theological scholarship and the undergraduate classroom. With its explanation of the successive quests for “the historical Jesus,” this book provides a learned and comprehensive antidote to conspiracy claims about Jesus of Nazareth that today’s university students encounter in popular media. The author helps students make sense of an often-bewildering array of scholarly voices in clearly explaining both the promises and the limits of what historical research can credibly affirm about Jesus. With its fair-minded treatment of contrasting positions in Christology, Understanding Jesus walks readers through centuries of textual and doctrinal developments from a perspective that is simultaneously Catholic and ecumenical, and appreciative of the contributions of Christian theologians from around the globe.”

Christopher Denny
Associate Professor, Department of Theology and Religious Studies
St. John's University
Queens, NY

About This Book

Overview

Understanding Jesus: Christology from Emmaus to Today, rev. ed., is a highly usable and accessible text that helps engage questions surrounding the religious significance of Jesus within Christian tradition. The book surveys the landscape of contemporary Christology, providing an overview of the range of current issues and filling the gap in introductory texts on Christology by moving, with ease, through biblical material, Christological councils, contemporary debates, and even addressing the issues of religious pluralism and Christology.

Understanding Jesus is a complete revision of author Christopher McMahon’s earlier book, Jesus Our Salvation: An Introduction to Christology. It includes updated text, new material, and a faith-friendly perspective that is hospitable to readers of a wide range of faith convictions. Sidebars and charts in each chapter highlight and develop key issues, ideas, historical moments, and personalities, while a glossary, chapter questions, and suggestions for further reading enhance accessibility.

Details

Weight 0.8 lbs
Dimensions 6 x 1.5 x 9 in
Format

Softcover

ISBN

978-1-59982-426-0

Pages

250

Item # 7047

Customer Reviews

“Christopher McMahon’’s Understanding Jesus: Christology from Emmaus to Today is a compelling exploration of the salvific effects of Christ’’s life, ministry, death, and resurrection designed to engage readers and take them on the journey that began with Emmaus and continues today. It is a refreshingly direct Christological overview in which McMahon allows the debates, concerns, and questions, not only of scholars but also of the faithful, to emerge from the texts and then to be addressed in a balanced and thoughtful manner.

“Proceeding from a low-ascending Christology, the journey begins with a clear and accessible consideration of the quest for the historical Jesus. Along the way, the reader is introduced to important persons of interest whose contributions to the Christological conversation are significant. McMahon is skilled at introducing insights and applications, such as John Meier’’s criteria for historical Jesus research, and then applying them directly when interpreting the meaning of scriptural passages. Such application is critical for a student reader of the text.

“McMahon offers crisp summaries, poignant questions for discussion and reflection, helpful charts, and sidebars, which serve as pedagogical tools. The book’’s open and inclusive approach invites readers from any background or perspective to make the journey and to encounter the richness and impact of Christ’’s life in the world.”

Shannon Schrein, OSF, Ph.D.
Lourdes University, Sylvania, Ohio

Understanding Jesus builds an important bridge between contemporary theological scholarship and the undergraduate classroom. With its explanation of the successive quests for “the historical Jesus,” this book provides a learned and comprehensive antidote to conspiracy claims about Jesus of Nazareth that today’s university students encounter in popular media. The author helps students make sense of an often-bewildering array of scholarly voices in clearly explaining both the promises and the limits of what historical research can credibly affirm about Jesus.

“With its fair-minded treatment of contrasting positions in Christology, Understanding Jesus walks readers through centuries of textual and doctrinal developments from a perspective that is simultaneously Catholic and ecumenical, and appreciative of the contributions of Christian theologians from around the globe.

“Christopher McMahon’’s accessible prose is supplemented with helpful charts, questions for reflection, topical bibliographies, and a glossary. Faculty members in New Testament studies and contemporary systematic theology who are searching for a balanced textbook that fairly represents the current academic consensus about the early Jesus movement will find in Understanding Jesus a high-quality source that meets their teaching needs for a diverse array of classroom settings.”

Christopher Denny
Associate Professor, Department of Theology and Religious Studies
St. John's University
Queens, NY

About the Author

Christopher McMahon

Christopher McMahon holds a PhD in theology from the Catholic University of America. His areas of interest include Christology and Scripture. Dr. McMahon is a contributor to the Saint Mary’s Press College Study Bible and The New Catholic Encyclopedia. He has also contributed essays to Patristic and Byzantine Review, New Blackfriars, American Benedictine Review, and The Journal of Religion and Film. Dr. McMahon currently teaches theology at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA.

Table of Contents

Preface to the Revised Edition

  1. Contemporary Christology and the Historical Jesus
    • Changing Paradigms and Shifting Terrain
    • The Old Quest: The Challenge of the Enlightenment
    • Beyond the Question of the Historical Jesus
    • The Quest Gets Baptized
    • The Problem of History: Understanding the Limits and Value of History
  2. A Tentative Historical Portrait of Jesus
    • Historical Jesus and the Criteria of Historicity
    • Applying the Criteria: A Tentative Sketch of the Historical Jesus
  3. The Resurrection
    • The Old Testament Period
    • The Afterlife in the Intertestamental Period
    • The New Testament Period
    • The Contemporary Debate
  4. New Testament Christologies
    • The Background for New Testament Christology: “The One Who Is to Come”
    • The Growth of New Testament Christology: Titles, Roles, and Patterns
    • Christology in Paul
    • Christology in the Synoptic Gospels
    • Wisdom and Logos: The Confluence of Jewish and Greek Ideas
  5. The Development of Classical Christology
    • The Way to Nicaea (100 CE–300 CE)
    • Political and Theological Conflict as Engines for Doctrinal Development: Constantinople I (381 CE)
    • Political and Theological Conflict as Engines for Doctrinal Development: Ephesus (431 CE)
    • Schism and Compromise: Between Ephesus and Chalcedon (433-448 CE)
    • More Politics and More Doctrine: The Council of Chalcedon (451 CE)
  6. The Work of Christ
    • Biblical Images of Salvation
    • Soteriology through the Middle Ages
    • The Reformation and the Doctrine of Penal Substitution (1500–1600)
  7. Christology and Social Transformation
    • Sin, Conversion, and Society
    • Revolutionary Christology
    • Feminist Christology
    • Postcolonial Christology
  8. Jesus and Other Religions
    • Traditional Christian Response to Religious Pluralism
    • Christology and Pluralism at the Turn of the Century
    • The Return of a High-Descending Christology

 

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