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The Spirit’s Empowerment of the Early Jesus Community
What does Luke mean when he describes the Spirit as gift (Acts 2:38)? This study explores the social implications of gift-giving in the Greco-Roman world, arguing that gifts initiate and sustain relationships. Therefore, the description of the Spirit as gift is inherently social, which is shown in the Spirit’s empowerment of the teaching, unity, meals, sharing of possessions and worship of the early Jesus community. The Spirit as gift then leads us to see that the early Jesus community is “the community of the Holy Spirit.”
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In Red Theology: On the Christian Communist Tradition, Roland Boer presents key moments in the 2,000 year tradition of Christian communism. Defined by the two features of alternative communal practice and occasional revolutionary action, Christian communism is predicated on profound criticism of the way of the world. The book begins with Karl Kautsky – the leading thinker of second-generation Marxism – and his oft-ignored identification of this tradition. From there, it offers a series of case studies that deal with European instances, the Russian Revolution, and to East Asia. Here we find the emergence of Christian communism not only in China, but also in North Korea. This book will be a vital resource for scholars and students of religion and the many aspects of socialist tradition.
Author:
Lay prophets in Lutheran Europe (c. 1550–1700) is the first transnational study of the phenomenon of angelic apparitions in all Lutheran cultures of early modern Europe. Jürgen Beyer provides evidence for more than 350 cases and analyses the material in various ways: tracing the medieval origins, studying the spread of news about prophets, looking at the performances legitimising their calling, noting their comments on local politics, following the theological debates about prophets, and interpreting the early modern notions of holiness within which prophets operated. A full chronology and bibliography of all cases concludes the volume. Beyer demonstrates that lay prophets were an accepted part of Lutheran culture and places them in their social, political and confessional contexts.