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Jesus Christ in World History

His Presence and Representation in Cyclical and Linear Settings- With the Assistance of Robert T. Coote


Jan A.B. Jongeneel

Jesus of Nazareth influenced – and continues to influence – the human community more than anybody else. This study describes and analyzes the perceptions and receptions of Jesus as the Messiah/Christ in six continents from the beginning of the Common Era until today. He appears to be present both within and beyond the traditional borders of Christianity. Individuals and peoples represent him and/or misrepresent him in their cyclical and/or linear settings.


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Foreword and Acknowledgments x 1 Perceptions and Receptions of Jesus Christ 1 Methodological reflections 4 Overview of presentation 5 2 World History, World Religions, and Worldviews 9 Outlining world history 9 Surveying world history 11 From oral traditions to scripts and alphabets 11 From incidental truth-findings to complete belief systems 13 From Roman Empire to corpus Christianum and corpus Islamicum 19 From Western to worldwide orientation 21 Transformation through globalization 23 History in the perspective of world religions and worldviews 26 Linear versus cyclical views 26 Immanent versus transcendent views 31 Final observations 32 3 Messianic Expectations and Beliefs before the Common Era 34 Messianic expectations and beliefs outside Israel 35 Ancient civilizations 35 Jaspers’s axial period 36 Roman empire 37 Messianic expectations and beliefs in Israel 38 The terms “Messiah” and “Christ” 39 Anointed people in Israel 39 Political messianism 40 Spiritual messianism 42 Apocalyptic messianism 46 Final observations 48 4 Jesus, the Messiah/Christ 51 Sources of our knowledge 51 Jewish sources 52 Greco-Roman sources 53 Christian sources 54 Jesus’ life and work 59 Baptism and communion with God 60 Public ministry 61 Cross 65 Resurrection 66 Jesus’ identity 68 vi Jesus’ self-determination 69 Christology of the apostles and evangelists 74 Final observations 76 5 From the Birth of Christianity to the Rise of Islam 78 Cyclical worldviews 79 Primal societies 79 Eastern societies with sacred texts 80 Linear worldviews preceding Christianity 81 Zoroastrians 82 Jews 82 Linear worldview of Gentile Christianity 86 Development of the Christian faith 87...

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