Deeply rooted in the story of Jesus of Nazareth is a concern for people mired in debt. Debt was a central control mechanism for the administration of the Roman Empire. Client states such as those of the Herods in Palestine were entrusted with maintenance of the established order, the Pax Romana, and their patronage entailed legions of the indebted. Debt kept peasants at their plows and contributed to the suffering bodies and tortured minds that Jesus attempted to heal. His parables and central prayer feature the forgiveness of money debts. In the end, his praxis to liberate people from perennial debt led to a Roman cross, but his memory was kept alive at the table around which he communed with tax collectors and debtors alike.
Douglas E. Oakman has been with the faculty of Pacific Lutheran University since 1988. Prior to that he taught at Santa Clara University, the University of San Francisco, and San Francisco Theological Seminary. Oakman has published numerous articles applying the social sciences to biblical studies. With K. C. Hanson he is the author the award-winning 'Palestine in the Time of Jesus' (second edition, 2008), 'Jesus and the Peasants' (2008), and 'The Political Aims of Jesus' (2012). Oakman is an ordained minister on the roster of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Foreword by K.C. Hanson Preface Acknowledgments Abbreviations 1 Introduction: Two Kingdoms, One Table-Jesus in Political Perspective 2 Jesus and Agrarian Debt 3 The Lord's Prayer in Social Perspective 4 Jesus the Tax Resister 5 Conclusion: Need or Greed as the Proper End of Economics? Bibliography Index of Ancient Documents