New publication: Jesus: A Life in Class Conflict

Dr Robert Myles of Wollaston Theological College in the University of Divinity, together with Professor James Crossley of MF Oslo, have co-authored a new book: Jesus: A Life in Class Conflict. The book, published by Zer0 Books, was officially released on 24th February 2023.

The book’s description reads:

What made the Jesus movement tick? By situating the life of Jesus of Nazareth in the turbulent troubles of first-century Palestine, Crossley and Myles give a thrilling historical-materialist take on the historical Jesus. Delivering a wealth of knowledge on the social, economic, and cultural conflicts of the time, Jesus: A Life in Class Conflict uncovers the emergence of a fervent and deadly serious religious organizer whose social and religious movement offered not only a radical end-time edict of divine reversal and judgment but also a promising new world order ruled in the interests of the peasantry. The movement’s popular appeal was due in part to a desire to represent the values of ordinary rural workers, and its vision meant that the rich would have to give up their wealth, while the poor would be afforded a life of heavenly luxury. Tensions flared up considerably when the movement marched on Jerusalem and Jesus was willingly martyred for the cause. Crossley and Myles offer a vivid portrait of the man and his movement and uncover the material conditions that converged to make it happen.


“Precise, clear, accessible, and important. I can think of no better introduction to the historical Jesus for the general reader, no clearer statement on the legacy of the Jesus movement in the sweep of subsequent history, or a more worthy challenge to contemporary scholarship on Jesus and the rise of Christianity.” – Neil Elliott, author of Liberating Paul: The Justice of God and the Politics of the Apostle

“The greatest story ever told as told from below is more compelling than ever. I was utterly engrossed. What impresses the most, though, is in how by demystifying an epic class struggle of the past lessons of strategic relevance to struggles for liberation in the present can be drawn. Essential stuff.” – Ciara Cremin, author of Totalled: Salvaging the Future from the Wreckage of Capitalism

“Copious and informed material information by way of well-wrought and well-written biographical narrative. The book conveys a sharp sense of the times and places, the issues and discussions, the difficulties and possibilities. A marvelous idea on the part of Crossley and Myles” – Fernando F. Segovia, Oberlin Graduate Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity, Vanderbilt University

“This book moves on from the Third Quest for the historical Jesus, so focused on seeing Jesus as a great innovator within a particular cultural, religious and societal context. Seeing such portraits as romanticized and overly idealized, the interest here is on the social and economic forces that produced the Jesus movement.” – Joan E. Taylor, Professor of Christian Origins and Second Temple Judaism, Kings College London

“Crossley and Myles have recaptured the mind-blowing excitement generated by the original quest to distinguish the Jesus of history behind the myth.” – Deane Galbraith, Lecturer in Religion, University of Otago


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