The nature of the kingdom Jesus proclaims in the Gospels has long been a subject of intense theological debate. More recently the lines of this debate have dramatically shifted as several leading historical Jesus scholars and Christian social ethicists have argued that Jesus' kingdom proclamation most likely expresses a first century Jewish hope for Israel's restoration. Yet while several are now sanguine that Jesus' kingdom vision constitutes nothing less than a full-throated restoration of Israel's nationality, they are just as certain it rejects a restoration of Israel's land. As such it has become increasingly fashionable to say that an authentic practice of the ""kingdom"" ethic that Jesus enunciates must necessarily be a-territorial. The purpose of this work is to respond to these arguments and show why this can and indeed should not be the case. Through a careful and detailed process of historical investigation, biblical exegesis, theological exploration, and ethical analysis we will come to see that not only is the kingdom that Jesus proclaims inextricably landed, but also why such a kingdom is integral to articulating a Christian ethic of territorial governance. ""A bravura performance by a promising young scholar, For the Nation challenges my own and other work in Christian ethics for not taking seriously Israel's land when speaking of God's kingdom as proclaimed by Israel's Messiah, Jesus. The work moves on from there to consider the ethical issues raised by territoriality in human existence. Strongly recommended."" --David P. Gushee, Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics, Director, Center for Theology & Public Life, Mercer University; Vice President, American Academy of Religion; Columnist, Religion News Service; President-Elect, Society of Christian Ethics ""Nicholas Brown here offers a powerful challenge to the reigning scholarly consensus regarding the territorial implications of Jesus' message of the kingdom. Skillfully integrating the disciplines of historical Jesus scholarship and Christian theological and ethical reflection, Brown presents a compelling vision of Jesus as a figure committed to Israel's territorial restoration but just as concerned about the ethical conditions and consequences of Israel's restored national life."" --Mark S. Kinzer, President Emeritus, Messianic Jewish Theological Institute ""We are a long way from recovering the landed nature of Jesus' life and work as the Christ. In For the Nation, Nick Brown points us in the right direction. He exposes how influential Christian interpretation of the Gospels has been dismissive of land and place, and he offers a welcome plea for Christians to scrutinize our ethics of land by attending to Jesus' commitment to the land of Israel."" --Tommy Givens, author of We the People: Israel and the Catholicity of Jesus ""With an impressive command of New Testament scholarship regarding the historical Jesus, ethicist Nicholas Brown works to dismantle Christian anti-materialism to show that Jesus' preaching of the kingdom was deeply concerned with the theological and territorial significance of Israel. This book will be the basis for a whole new theo-political discourse about structural supersessionism and the moral legitimacy of states and state-building."" --Love L. Sechrest, Ph.D., Associate Professor of New Testament, Co-chair, SBL African American Biblical Hermeneutics Section, Fuller Theological Seminary Nicholas R. Brown is a part-time professor of Theological Studies at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and a part-time professor of Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena.
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