Citizenship provides a wonderful introduction to social and political issues in the Pauline corpus, making a significant contribution in Pauline studies and in political theology. In ways at once accessible and profound, Zerbe articulates pressing questions and meta-questions in the ongoing quest to read Paul’s letters in light of their contexts and message for the church.
Mark Reasoner, Associate Professor of Theology, Marian University, author of Romans in Full Circle: A History of Interpretation
With scholarly rigor and keen insight, Zerbe has captured a striking angle on Paul’s vision of the new messianic community of Jesus, too often overlooked or minimized in Pauline studies. Citizenship identifies Paul’s multi-faceted plea to adopt only one pledge of allegiance in the world of competing powers and politics: God’s Messiah-Jesus. Inquiring readers will find this exposition of “loyalty,” “mutuality,” “security,” and “affinity” in Paul’s writings richly rewarding.
V. George Shillington, Professor Emeritus of Biblical and Theological Studies, Canadian Mennonite University, author of Jesus and Paul before Christianity
In this stimulating volume Zerbe has brought together the fruit of a long scholarly engagement with Paul. Fully conversant with contemporary scholarship, both within and outside the church, Zerbe explores Paul’s thought with a clear and sharp eye, looking for what “citizenship” looks like for members of “Messiah’s global politics.” He succeeds brilliantly in “un-domesticating” Paul, only to reintroduce the prophetic envoy of the Messiah to those struggling to be loyal to Jesus within a world of power and violence.
Thomas Yoder Neufeld, Professor of Religious Studies and Theological Studies, Conrad Grebel University College, author of Killing Enmity: Violence and the New Testament
These exegetically judicious and boldly creative essays spring from Zerbe’s sustained reflection, over a number of years, on the challenge that contemporary national claims on our allegiance pose to the higher claims of baptismal commitment. By organizing these essays around aspects of “citizenship,” Zerbe provides the most nuanced and compelling description we have yet seen of the political dimensions of the apostle’s thought and praxis. This welcome volume deserves the close attention of every interpreter of Paul.
Neil Elliott, Adjunct Instructor, Metropolitan State University and United Theological Seminary, author of The Arrogance of Nations: Reading Romans in the Shadow of Empire