Thursday, September 21, 2006

Jesus & Utopia: Looking for the Kingdom of God in the Roman World

Latest from Fortress:

“Mary Ann Beavis locates Jesus’ teaching about the Basileia of God in a richly drawn landscape of ancient utopian movements—illuminating indeed!”

Stephen J. Patterson, Professor of New Testament, Eden Seminary; author of Beyond the Passion: Rethinking the Death and Life of Jesus (Fortress Press, 2004)

A Dramatic New Approach to Jesus and the Movement that Took His Name

MINNEAPOLIS (September 21, 2006)—Scholarship on the historical Jesus and, now, on the "Jesus movement" generally divides into separate camps around two sticky questions: was Jesus an apocalyptic prophet and was the movement around him political, that is nationalistic or revolutionary?

In Jesus & Utopia Mary Ann Beavis moves the study of the historical Jesus in a dramatic new direction as she highlights the context of ancient utopian thought and utopian communities, drawing particularly on the Essene community and Philo's discussion of the Therapeutae, and argues that only ancient utopian thought accounts for the lack of explicit political echoes in Jesus' message of the kingdom of God.


* Ancient Utopias, Jesus, and the Kingdom of God

* Ancient, Classical, and Hellenistic Utopias

* Biblical Utopias: From Eden to the Kingdom of God

* Ideal Communities in Early Judaism: Essenes, Therapeutai, Havurot

* Jesus and the Kingdom of God in Biblical Scholarship

* Jesus’ Preaching of the Kingdom of God in Utopian Context

* From Basileia to Ekklēsia

Mary Ann Beavis is Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Religious Studies and Anthropology at St. Thomas More College, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon. The author of Mark’s Audience (1989) and editor of The Lost Coin: Parables of Women, Work, and Wisdom (2002), she has written numerous articles on utopian currents in the ancient world, New Testament representatives of wealth and poverty, and the parables of Jesus. She is also founder and editor of The Journal of Religion and Popular Culture.

Jesus & Utopia: Looking for the Kingdom of God in the Roman World

By Mary Ann Beavis

Format: 6” x 9”, paperback, 224 pages
ISBN: 0-8006-3562-0
Price: $22.00
Publisher: Fortress Press
Rights: World

To order Jesus & Utopia please call Fortress Press at 1-800-328-4648 or visit the Web site at To request review copies (for media), or to discuss speaking engagements or interviews, please call 1-800-426-0115 ext. 234 or e-mail To request exam copies for classroom use (professors) go to

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