Christ and the Spirit

Catholic Perspectives through the Ages

Course instructors considering a book for adoption will be provided a complimentary copy.
$15.95
Digital Books

This refreshing and highly accessible work purports to offer a logical and creative analysis of the testimony of the Christian Scriptures as well as two millennia of Christian thinking about Jesus Christ, the visible image of the invisible God and the Spirit who reveals him.

Because of its faithfulness to the sources of Christianity as well as a creative use of familiar images from contemporary literature and film, Christ and the Spirit invites its readers to think more clearly about their experience and interpretation of God’s presence in their lives and history, and how that experience might (or might not) connect with the Christian experience of God acting in Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. After presenting the saving mystery, the book has the courage to ask “so what?”—hoping to help the reader come to know something new and significant about the Christian understanding of God’s love made present to human beings through Jesus Christ and the Spirit.

This book has valuable insights for college students and participants in programs of adult faith formation. I highly recommend it.

Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R.
Archbishop of Newark

What a well-informed, concise, and imaginative book this is! John Markey’s Christ and the Spirit signals a promising direction in response to Jesus’ enduring question: Who do you say that I am? Markey recognizes that a genuine answer to this question requires the active presence of the Spirit of Jesus, the Holy Spirit. Well-chosen films with prominent Christ-figures invite readers to consider God’s wondrous and surprising presence among us and the ways in which the Spirit transforms and empowers us. Throughout, this book remains faithful to the best biblical and theological work of our time.

Nancy Pineda-Madrid
Boston College

“Imagining the world or one’s life differently is the first step in changing it.” So states John Markey in his introduction to Christ and the Spirit: Catholic Perspectives Through the Ages. Convinced that people must access God through their own experience if they are to authentically connect to the God of Christianity, and equally convinced of the epistemological power of story, Markey, along with contributor Greg Zuschlag, lace a lucid outline of Western Christianity’s theologies of Christ and the Spirit with illustrations from the film narratives of Beauty and the Beast, Superman, and Star Wars. In the case of Beauty and the Beast, he illuminates the ways in which the story’s heroine, Belle, functions as a Christ figure, returning to her again and again in reflection question boxes that challenge readers to make their own connections and draw their own conclusions on the basis of his elaboration of the developments of the Christian Tradition. In evoking Superman and Star Wars, he acknowledges popular parallels, respectively, to Christ and the Spirit, but counsels caution and invites critical analysis vis-à-vis an authentic understanding of the paschal mystery. Both his boxed reflections and discussion questions lead the reader to recognize the truth-in-contrast between the redemptive power of Belle’s vulnerable love and the myth of redemptive violence perpetuated by Superman and the Force. Recurring references to Jean Vanier’s L’Arche communities reinforce the vision of the world through the lens of the Christian story that Markey so successfully conveys.

This book is a rich resource for undergraduate introductory courses as well as for continuing formation for adults. It provides excellent pedagogical tools for the classroom and for popular pastoral education.

Kathleen McManus, OP

Christ and the Spirit offers a remarkably thorough survey of major historical developments in the understanding of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. It is both a compelling tour of the theological concerns and questions that gave rise to those developments and a creative exploration of how the Christian community’s insights might continue to make a claim on us today. John Markey has provided a book that will delight teachers and students alike. He and his colleague, Greg Zuschlag, are master teachers, inviting their readers to think with depth and precision about the transformative work of Jesus Christ and the Spirit in our world.

Steve Rodenborn
St. Edward's University

Christ and the Spirit presents an accessible entry to the study of Christology, using examples from contemporary culture to demonstrate the action of the Spirit of God in the world. The book’s concise explanations of theological principles and their applications complement its detailed rendition of the way Jesus Christ is presented in Scripture and received through the ages.

Phyllis Zagano
Hofstra University

Christ and the Spirit provides a well-researched and accessible overview of Catholic perspectives on Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit from a Western, Catholic, Christian understanding as they have emerged and developed over the past two millennia. What is innovative about Markey’s approach is his exploration of these traditions through story and film. Using the films Beauty and the Beast and Star Wars, and with input by colleague Greg Zuschlag, Markey explores the meaning and significance of the Christ and the Holy Spirit through the lens, particularly, of Belle (Beauty) as a “Christ-figure,” one who saves as Christ does humanity from sin and death. This approach forces readers to rethink their understanding of Jesus for today.

The book is well written, engaging, and thought provoking. I highly recommend it as especially appealing for use in undergraduate and graduate theology and religious studies courses. This small book (students will appreciate the brevity), opens up new ways of thinking about and understanding Jesus Christ for the twenty-first century.

Diana L. Hayes
Georgetown University

About This Book

Overview

While affiliation in organized religion may be decreasing, there is simultaneously a growing interest in spirituality and conceptions of God. The Catholic Church, and Christianity more broadly, have much to offer these conversations.

Surveying New Testament sources and the theological understandings born of them, John Markey’s Christ and the Spirit: Catholic Perspectives through the Ages presents a succinct and thoughtful explanation of Catholic understandings of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. With contributor Greg Zuschlag, Markey illustrates theological concepts through familiar stories, including Beauty and the Beast, Superman, and Star Wars. Equipped with review and discussion questions and recommendations for additional resources, Christ and the Spirit presents a cohesive introduction to conceptions of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, while steadfastly insisting that the question Why does this matter? remain at the forefront of this exploration.

 John J. Markey, OP, PhD, is an associate professor of theology and director of the Doctorate in Spirituality Program at the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas.

Details

Weight .35 lbs
Dimensions 6 x .50 x 9 in
Pages

116

ISBN

978-1-59982-952-4

Item # 7085

Customer Reviews

This refreshing and highly accessible work purports to offer a logical and creative analysis of the testimony of the Christian Scriptures as well as two millennia of Christian thinking about Jesus Christ, the visible image of the invisible God and the Spirit who reveals him.

Because of its faithfulness to the sources of Christianity as well as a creative use of familiar images from contemporary literature and film, Christ and the Spirit invites its readers to think more clearly about their experience and interpretation of God’s presence in their lives and history, and how that experience might (or might not) connect with the Christian experience of God acting in Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. After presenting the saving mystery, the book has the courage to ask “so what?”—hoping to help the reader come to know something new and significant about the Christian understanding of God’s love made present to human beings through Jesus Christ and the Spirit.

This book has valuable insights for college students and participants in programs of adult faith formation. I highly recommend it.

Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R.
Archbishop of Newark

What a well-informed, concise, and imaginative book this is! John Markey’s Christ and the Spirit signals a promising direction in response to Jesus’ enduring question: Who do you say that I am? Markey recognizes that a genuine answer to this question requires the active presence of the Spirit of Jesus, the Holy Spirit. Well-chosen films with prominent Christ-figures invite readers to consider God’s wondrous and surprising presence among us and the ways in which the Spirit transforms and empowers us. Throughout, this book remains faithful to the best biblical and theological work of our time.

Nancy Pineda-Madrid
Boston College

“Imagining the world or one’s life differently is the first step in changing it.” So states John Markey in his introduction to Christ and the Spirit: Catholic Perspectives Through the Ages. Convinced that people must access God through their own experience if they are to authentically connect to the God of Christianity, and equally convinced of the epistemological power of story, Markey, along with contributor Greg Zuschlag, lace a lucid outline of Western Christianity’s theologies of Christ and the Spirit with illustrations from the film narratives of Beauty and the Beast, Superman, and Star Wars. In the case of Beauty and the Beast, he illuminates the ways in which the story’s heroine, Belle, functions as a Christ figure, returning to her again and again in reflection question boxes that challenge readers to make their own connections and draw their own conclusions on the basis of his elaboration of the developments of the Christian Tradition. In evoking Superman and Star Wars, he acknowledges popular parallels, respectively, to Christ and the Spirit, but counsels caution and invites critical analysis vis-à-vis an authentic understanding of the paschal mystery. Both his boxed reflections and discussion questions lead the reader to recognize the truth-in-contrast between the redemptive power of Belle’s vulnerable love and the myth of redemptive violence perpetuated by Superman and the Force. Recurring references to Jean Vanier’s L’Arche communities reinforce the vision of the world through the lens of the Christian story that Markey so successfully conveys.

This book is a rich resource for undergraduate introductory courses as well as for continuing formation for adults. It provides excellent pedagogical tools for the classroom and for popular pastoral education.

Kathleen McManus, OP

Christ and the Spirit offers a remarkably thorough survey of major historical developments in the understanding of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. It is both a compelling tour of the theological concerns and questions that gave rise to those developments and a creative exploration of how the Christian community’s insights might continue to make a claim on us today. John Markey has provided a book that will delight teachers and students alike. He and his colleague, Greg Zuschlag, are master teachers, inviting their readers to think with depth and precision about the transformative work of Jesus Christ and the Spirit in our world.

Steve Rodenborn
St. Edward's University

Christ and the Spirit presents an accessible entry to the study of Christology, using examples from contemporary culture to demonstrate the action of the Spirit of God in the world. The book’s concise explanations of theological principles and their applications complement its detailed rendition of the way Jesus Christ is presented in Scripture and received through the ages.

Phyllis Zagano
Hofstra University

Christ and the Spirit provides a well-researched and accessible overview of Catholic perspectives on Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit from a Western, Catholic, Christian understanding as they have emerged and developed over the past two millennia. What is innovative about Markey’s approach is his exploration of these traditions through story and film. Using the films Beauty and the Beast and Star Wars, and with input by colleague Greg Zuschlag, Markey explores the meaning and significance of the Christ and the Holy Spirit through the lens, particularly, of Belle (Beauty) as a “Christ-figure,” one who saves as Christ does humanity from sin and death. This approach forces readers to rethink their understanding of Jesus for today.

The book is well written, engaging, and thought provoking. I highly recommend it as especially appealing for use in undergraduate and graduate theology and religious studies courses. This small book (students will appreciate the brevity), opens up new ways of thinking about and understanding Jesus Christ for the twenty-first century.

Diana L. Hayes
Georgetown University

About the Author

John J. Markey

John J. Markey, OP, PhD, is an associate professor of theology and director of the Doctorate in Spirituality Program at the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas. He is also the author of Constituting Communion: The Theology of the Constitutions of the Church from New City Press.

Table of Contents

Contents

Introduction

  1. Jesus Christ: New Testament Perspectives
  • The Identity of Jesus Christ in the Christian Scriptures
  • The Four Gospels
  • CHRIST-FIGURES IN FILM EXPLORING BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, Greg Zuschlag
  • The Epistles of Paul
  • CHRIST-FIGURES IN FILM REEL TO REAL, Greg Zuschlag
  • Review Questions
  • Discussion Questions
  • Additional Resources
  1. Jesus Christ: Ancient to Contemporary Perspectives
  • Hellenism
  • How Can God Become Human?
  • CHRIST-FIGURES IN FILM SUPERMAN AND THE MYTH
  • OF REDEMPTIVE VIOLENCE, Greg Zuschlag
  • How Can the Divine and Human Coexist in One Person?
  • After Chalcedon: Why Does God Become Human?
  • Neglecting Chalcedon: From the Enlightenment to Modernity Recovering and Reformulating Chalcedon
  • in the Twentieth Century
  • Two Critical Perspectives on Contemporary Christology
  • Review Questions
  • Discussion Questions
  • Additional Resources

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