Author: Crowley, Paul G
Date published: June 1, 2012
JESUS OF GALILEE:CONTEXTUAL CHRISTOLOGY FOR THE 21ST CENTURY. Edited by Robert Lassalle-Klein. Maryknoll, N. Y.: Orbis, 2011.Pp.xii + 226.$30.
This impressively unified collection of essays takes its cue from Benedict XVI's question posed in his own Jesus of Nazareth: "What has Jesus really brought ... if has not brought world peace, universal prosperity, and a better world?"
Part 1 focuses on what we can learn from Galilee itself, with essays by a trio of major theologians: Gustavo Gutiérrez, Virgiuo Elizondo, and Jon Sobrino, each of whom contributes a signature essay. Lasselle-Klein's own essay, "Marina's Story and the Historical Reality of Jesus," plants the theme in the account of an escapee from the civil war in El Salvador who was later to become an undocumented immigrant in the United States. L.-K. builds on this a theology of the "historical reality" of Jesus, which is realized in the current reality of human existence, as distinguished from earlier attempts at locating the "historical Jesus." This thesis constitutes an important contribution on L.-K.'s part to contemporary thinking about Jesus.
Part 1 builds the foundation for the following three parts, focusing on biblical perspectives, theological variations on the topic, and spirituality. Here is where the multicultural theological palette is applied, with fascinating essays by Caroline N. Mbonu (from Nigeria, on the Galilean Mary) and Francis Ming (from India, on an Indian construal of Christ). The essays here by younger theologians present truly fresh and intriguing perspectives heretofore not treated, or rarely so. Alongside these newer theologians are names that might prove familiar to some US theologians: Roberto Goizueta (on the preferential option for the poor), Mary Doak (on the hope amidst globalized despair), Michael Lee (on the conundrums of multiple belongings), and Daniel Groody (on the border and immigration).
I would recommend this book for the general reader who is interested in listening to both established and newer voices, but I also could imagine its being put to very good use in courses on Jesus or ChristoTogy, contextual and global theologies, and liberation and postliberation theologies.
PAUL G. CROWLEY, S.J.
Santa Clara University, CA