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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Kingdom of Bureaucracy: The Political Theology of Village Scribes in the Sayings Gospel Q
Bazzana, Giovanni B.

Leuven: Peeters, 2015 pp. xii + 383. Ä85.00

Series Information
Bibliotheca Ephemeridum Theologicarum Lovaniensium, 274


Description: The Sayings Gospel Q was composed in the central decades of the first century CE by Galilean villagers who had acquired knowledge of Greek mostly through their involvement with the public administration. The present book analyzes the text of Q in order to rediscover the terminological and ideological traces of the activity of these sub-elite scribes in the Sayings Gospel. Given the bureaucratic positions occupied by the members of this group, the peculiar use of the phrase Basileia tou theou carries a specific significance for its theological political implications. On the basis of Giorgio Agambenís recent revision of the category of political theology, the attitude of Q on divine kingship is understood as an instance of sub-elite negotiation of social and political positions vis-ŗ-vis the expansion of Roman imperial hegemony in the eastern Mediterranean. In this context the author(s) of Q envisage apocalyptic scenarios in which divine kingship replaces human rulers and native sub-elite bureaucrats can share in the exercise of cosmic government.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Synoptic Gospels, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, History, Form, Tradition and Redaction Criticism, Social-Scientific Approaches

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Review by Sarah E. Rollens
Published 12/15/2016
Citation: Sarah E. Rollens, review of Giovanni B. Bazzana, Kingdom of Bureaucracy: The Political Theology of Village Scribes in the Sayings Gospel Q, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2016).


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