On the Way

Religious Experience and Common Life in the Gospels and Letters of Paul

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Kevin McCruden’s introduction to the four Gospels and letters of Paul combines a thorough familiarity with serious scholarship and a sensitivity to the important questions that new readers bring to these ancient texts. Within a framework defined by religious experience and the common life and with a view to their impact on modern interpreters, McCruden offers a sensitive reading rich in insight. His work is a superb tool for introducing undergraduates to the critical study of the New Testament.

Harry Attridge
Yale Divinity School

Professors of New Testament as well as leaders of Bible study groups often find themselves searching for outside sources in the biblical field that go beyond the strictly academic analysis of the New Testament texts to address the personal experience of the community members and how that holds coherence with our current reality.

It is precisely for this reason that Kevin McCruden’s On the Way distinguishes itself from other scholarly introductions to the Gospels and the letters of Paul. Without any mitigation of the scholarly knowledge necessary for the understanding of each document, and with his gift for gracefully communicating erudition in a smooth readable style, McCruden trains his special focus on those most pertinent texts that evince the convert’s personal life and his or her desire to commit to community, and then moves to discussions of contemporary heroes and issues of religio-socio-political recent history.

As a result, McCruden effectively connects the Gospels and letters of Paul to our own world, as vibrant conversation partners from across the millennia, where we find common ground in their evidence of personal transformation and a community commitment that becomes a passion and joy.

Wendy Cotter, CSJ
Loyola University Chicago

Kevin McCruden has convincingly traced the thread that runs through a significant portion of the canonical New Testament, the four Gospels, and the undisputed letters of Paul. Each of these books originated in the lived experience of the communal encounter of the Risen Christ, shared by its author and immediate audience. By identifying the power of the shared religious experience of the communities of the New Testament in all its diversity, McCruden has opened a horizon for contemporary readers to understand more deeply their own encounter with the same Christ. A wide audience that includes students, teachers, and pastors will benefit from his insightful, focused, and lucid reading of the Gospels and Paul.

Alan C. Mitchell
Georgetown University

In On the Way, McCruden consistently offers insightful interpretations of the relationship between the religious experience of God and living life in community as this relationship is reflected in the four Gospels and the letters of Paul. He writes in an enviably clear and delightful style. The reader not only learns a great deal but does so with pleasure. McCruden has a knack for clarifying without oversimplifying.

Thomas H. Tobin, SJ
Loyola University Chicago

About This Book

Overview

This quest for meaning and purpose often starts with personal encounter—the kind of transformative experience that results in a commitment to new ways of living. These new commitments yield communities: a common life with shared goals and practices. In turn, these communities can bring about more opportunities for personal encounter and transformative experience.

This pattern of personal encounter and communal commitment is evident even in the ancient texts and world of early Christians. In On the Way: Religious Experience and Common Life in the Gospels and Letters of Paul, Kevin McCruden explores this dynamic with rigor and religious sensitivity. By examining the historical critical, and theological significance of the four Gospels and the undisputed Pauline letters, McCruden makes space to explore the link between religious experience and communal life. This unique approach is aided by chapter summaries, review and reflection questions, and definitions throughout the book. Accessible, readable, and immediately relevant to the lives of students, On the Way offers a way into the New Testament studies that invites students to consider encounter, transformation, and community as it’s reflected in both Scripture and their lives.

Details

Weight .55 lbs
Dimensions 5.375 × 1 × 8.25 in
Print ISBN

978-1-59982-793-3

Format

Softcover

Item # 7093

Customer Reviews

Kevin McCruden’s introduction to the four Gospels and letters of Paul combines a thorough familiarity with serious scholarship and a sensitivity to the important questions that new readers bring to these ancient texts. Within a framework defined by religious experience and the common life and with a view to their impact on modern interpreters, McCruden offers a sensitive reading rich in insight. His work is a superb tool for introducing undergraduates to the critical study of the New Testament.

Harry Attridge
Yale Divinity School

Professors of New Testament as well as leaders of Bible study groups often find themselves searching for outside sources in the biblical field that go beyond the strictly academic analysis of the New Testament texts to address the personal experience of the community members and how that holds coherence with our current reality.

It is precisely for this reason that Kevin McCruden’s On the Way distinguishes itself from other scholarly introductions to the Gospels and the letters of Paul. Without any mitigation of the scholarly knowledge necessary for the understanding of each document, and with his gift for gracefully communicating erudition in a smooth readable style, McCruden trains his special focus on those most pertinent texts that evince the convert’s personal life and his or her desire to commit to community, and then moves to discussions of contemporary heroes and issues of religio-socio-political recent history.

As a result, McCruden effectively connects the Gospels and letters of Paul to our own world, as vibrant conversation partners from across the millennia, where we find common ground in their evidence of personal transformation and a community commitment that becomes a passion and joy.

Wendy Cotter, CSJ
Loyola University Chicago

Kevin McCruden has convincingly traced the thread that runs through a significant portion of the canonical New Testament, the four Gospels, and the undisputed letters of Paul. Each of these books originated in the lived experience of the communal encounter of the Risen Christ, shared by its author and immediate audience. By identifying the power of the shared religious experience of the communities of the New Testament in all its diversity, McCruden has opened a horizon for contemporary readers to understand more deeply their own encounter with the same Christ. A wide audience that includes students, teachers, and pastors will benefit from his insightful, focused, and lucid reading of the Gospels and Paul.

Alan C. Mitchell
Georgetown University

In On the Way, McCruden consistently offers insightful interpretations of the relationship between the religious experience of God and living life in community as this relationship is reflected in the four Gospels and the letters of Paul. He writes in an enviably clear and delightful style. The reader not only learns a great deal but does so with pleasure. McCruden has a knack for clarifying without oversimplifying.

Thomas H. Tobin, SJ
Loyola University Chicago

About the Author

Kevin B. McCruden

Kevin McCruden is a professor of religious studies and chair of the religious studies department at Gonzaga University. He received his doctorate in New Testament and Early Christianity from Loyola University Chicago.

Table of Contents

Contents

Preface for Teachers

Chapter 1       Religious Experience and the Common Life

Chapter 2       Encountering Mark: The Way of Messiahship and the Way of Discipleship

Chapter 3       Encountering Matthew: Jesus as Teacher of Living in the Kingdom of Heaven

Chapter 4       Encountering Luke: The Journey of Faith in Community

Chapter 5       Encountering John: The Mission of the Word of God in the Lives of the Children of God

Chapter 6       Encountering Paul: Reflections on Reconstructing the Historical Apostle

 Chapter 7       Religious Experience and Common Life in the Letters of Paul: Participation in Christ and Ethical Transformation

 

Chapter 8       Common Life in Crisis: Paul’s Response in Letters to the Corinthians and Romans

 

Index

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