The Militant and Lowly Historical Jesus

David Burns

in The Life and Death of the Radical Historical Jesus

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199929504
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199315963 | DOI:

Series: Religion in America

The Militant and Lowly Historical Jesus

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This chapter explores how the radical historical Jesus became a source of inspiration among socialists and working-class activists dissatisfied with capitalism. The major point emerging from this chapter is that the Christ venerated by socialist theorists like Cyrenus Osborne Ward and George Herron was a class-conscious variant of the radical historical Jesus. Ward and Herron also had serious reservations about the nature of Western civilization that caused them to craft arguments not as firmly rooted in the American political tradition as the ones advanced by Robert Ingersoll and his peers. The end result of this intellectual ferment was that the radical historical Jesus was born again, becoming a pillar of political thought among militant socialists who transcended and transgressed the boundaries of American nationalism.

Keywords: inspiration; laborers; capitalism; Christ; working class; Cyrenus Osborne Ward; George Herron; Western civilization; intellectual; nationalism

Chapter.  14164 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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