Saturday, October 13, 2018

Amy Jill Levine, "Who Is My Enemy?", Barbara Brown Taylor, Parable of the Good Muslim,

 Levine, A.J. (2017). Who Is My Enemy?

Reid, B. E. (2000). Parables for Preachers – Year C. p.105.

Taylor, B. B. (2015).Parable of the Good Muslim.

A great deal of media sound bites have recently been spent on playing down the differences between Islam and Christianity. In the decades before, it was spent on recasting Jesus as a normative Jew. If that results in preventing another holocaust or another crusade, then good. But if we can only achieve this by domesticating other religions and making them more palatable to Christian tastes, then we should rather stop. Prof Barbara Brown Taylor points out that it is clear from the stories by Jesus and about Jesus, that correct beliefs were not important to him. In fact, that may be exactly what Jesus was trying to say: don’t use your differences as a convenient excuse not to act civil toward an ultimate ‘other,’ as Bolz-Weber puts it. In my experience, us Christians could learn from Muslims & Jews how this is done. AJ Levine says that the best way to recover the punch that the parable of the Good Samaritan had when Jesus told it the first time, is to move the narrative to the West Bank (where the ancient Kingdom of Samaria was) and make the man in the ditch, a modern-day Jew. After a rabbi and a member of the Israeli Knesset have ignored the man and passed him by, imagine a Muslim member of Hamas bending down to bind the man’s wounds and bathe him and make sure he is taken care of. Prof Barbara Brown Taylor says “anyone who loves this story has probably misunderstood it.” The good Samaritan “never was and never will be one of us. He was the enemy. He belonged to the other side." Barbara Brown Taylor is Professor of World Religions at Piedmont College. AJ Levine is a Jewish professor of New Testament studies at Vanderbilt University.

Lk 10 25-37 – Good Samaritan

Levine, A.J. (2014). Short Stories about Jesus. p.71-106.

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