The Homeless Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew
Myles, Robert J.
Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix, 2014 pp. xiii + 220. $95.00
Social World of Biblical Antiquity, 2/10
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Description: In this provocative new reading of the Gospel of Matthew, Robert J. Myles explores the disjuncture between Jesus and homelessness by exposing the political biases of modern Western readers. Drawing on the ideological politics of homelessness in contemporary society, Myles develops an interpretative lens informed by the Marxist critique of neoliberalism and, in particular, by the critical theory of Slavoj Žižek. Homelessness, from this perspective, is viewed not as an individual choice but rather as the by-product of wider economic, political and social forces. Myles argues that Jesus’ homelessness has become largely romanticized in recent biblical scholarship. Is the flight to Egypt, for instance, important primarily for its recasting of Jesus as the new Moses, or should the basic narrative of forced displacement take centre stage? The remedy, Myles contends, is to read directly against the grain of contemporary scholarship by interpreting Jesus’ homelessness through his wider economic, political and social context, as it is encoded in the biblical text.
Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Synoptic Gospels, Matthew, Literature, Methods, Literary Approaches, Ideological Critique
Review by Warren Carter
Citation: Warren Carter, review of Robert J. Myles, The Homeless Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2016).
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