Part of the Christianities in the Trans-Atlantic World book series (CTAW)


In the first chapter, I introduce the modern reception of Jesus in a globalised age of cultural and religious pluralism, identifying the Enlightenment as an important period of history for genealogies of this phenomenon. The focus of this study as a whole is explained: impressions of Jesus within the ‘religious Enlightenment’ of Europe and North America, which I draw on to help illuminate some of the thought worlds that were characterstic of the age. The historical, moral, and political-theological dimensions of these revisionary projects are outlined in this chapter, and the different denominational and philosophical traditions which contributed to them are acknowledged. Protestant religious milieus and their modern philosophical contexts feature most prominently, but with important contributions from Patristic, Thomist, reforming Roman Catholic, and Jewish sources of influence. The meaning and importance of ‘heresy’ in this study is explained; the different meanings I give to ‘political theology’ are defined; the outlines for all subsequent chapters are provided; and the central theses of the book are stated.

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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Critical StudiesUniversity of GlasgowGlasgowUK

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