There are many books that cause book-lust, but these three have my utmost attention:
Blurb: Since 1941, Rudolf Bultmann's program of demythologizing has been the subject of constant debate, widely held to indicate Bultmann's departure from the dialectical theology he once shared with Karl Barth. In the 1950s, Barth referred to their relationship as that of a whale and an elephant: incapable of meaningful communication. This study proposes a contrary reading of demythologizing as the hermeneutical fulfillment of dialectical theology on the basis of a reinterpretation of Barth's theological project. As such, the volume argues that dialectical theology is fundamentally governed by a missionary logic. Bultmann's hermeneutical theology extends this dialectical, missionary theology into the field of interpretation. Contrary to many critics, the message of God's saving work in Christ, and not modern science, funds Bultmann's hermeneutical program. Like Barth's own revolution, Bultmann's program addresses a false relation between gospel and culture. Negatively, demythologizing is a program of deconstantinizing, opposing the objectifying conflation of kerygma and culture that he calls "myth." Positively, demythologizing is a form of intercultural hermeneutics, composed of preunderstanding and self-understanding. Demythologizing is therefore a missionary hermeneutic of intercultural translation.
The Holy Spirit, Inspiration, and Cultures of Antiquity edited by Jörg Frey, John R. Levison, and Andrew Bowden
Blurb: Early Christian claims to the Holy Spirit arose in a vibrant cultural matrix that included Stoicism, Jewish mysticism, the Dead Sea Scrolls, Greco-Roman medicine, and the perspectives of Plutarch. In a range of articles, this multidisciplinary volume discovers in these texts rich cultural connections related to inspiration and the Holy Spirit. It is essential reading for scholars of Judaism and the New Testament, as well as classicists and theologians.
Blurb: In Jesus and the Chaos of History, James Crossley looks at the way the earliest traditions about Jesus interacted with a context of social upheaval and the ways in which this historical chaos of the early first century led to a range of ideas which were taken up, modified, ignored, and reinterpreted in the movement that followed. Crossley examines how the earliest Palestinian tradition intersected with social upheaval and historical change and how accidental, purposeful, discontinuous, contradictory, and implicit meanings in the developments of ideas appeared in the movement that followed. He considers the ways seemingly egalitarian and countercultural ideas co-exist with ideas of dominance and power and how human reactions to socio-economic inequalities can end up mimicking dominant power. In this case, the book analyzes how a Galilean "protest" movement laid the foundations for its own brand of imperial rule. This evaluation is carried out in detailed studies on the kingdom of God and "Christology," "sinners" and purity, and gender and revolution.