Lexington Books / Fortress Academic
Trim: 6¼ x 9¼
978-1-9787-0240-0 • Hardback • June 2020 • $95.00 • (£73.00)
978-1-9787-0242-4 • Paperback • December 2021 • $39.99 • (£31.00)
978-1-9787-0241-7 • eBook • June 2020 • $38.00 • (£29.00)
Daniel DeForest London (Ph.D in Christian spirituality, Graduate Theological Union) is the rector of Christ Episcopal Church in Eureka, California.
1. Theodical Spirituality
2. Mimetic Theory and the Anthropological Tale of the Fourth Gospel
3. Blaming the Victim: Day, Night, and the Light (9:1-7)
4. Blaming the Victimizer: Vision, Blindness, and the Judge (9:8-41)
5. Blaming God: Sheep, Wolf, and the Shepherd (10:1-21)
In this readable and pioneering book, Daniel DeForest London offers a transformative reading of John 9 and 10. Employing the "Anthropological tale" of René Girard as an interpretive key to this section of John (i.e. the human propensity toward blaming and scapegoating) London shows how the Johannine Jesus transforms both victim and victimizer. The theodical spirituality emerging from his exegesis offers the promise of liberation and new life to the reader, the church and the world. This is the most important theological book I have read in the last twenty years!
— Peter Rodgers, Center for Bible Study
The problem of suffering is one of the most pastorally important issues in the Christian life, but a preacher hoping to offer a comforting word is faced with a tangled web of competing philosophical and theological explanations that finally fail to satisfy the quest for good news. In response to this challenge, London takes a deep dive into John’s story of “The Man Born Blind” (9:6-10:21). Respectful of the human urge to assign blame for misfortune, London’s approach instead emphasizes the evocative language of this Gospel, offering a perspective that suggests a path to spiritual transformation and an invitation to intimacy with God.
— Linda L. Clader, emerita, Church Divinity School of the Pacific
London offers a compelling reading of John 9–10 that challenges anti-Semitic interpretations of the gospel. Through mimetic theory, readers encounter a Johannine discourse aimed at breaking down the divide between victims and victimizer, and a Good Shepherd who invites them to deflect their need for finding blame onto the cross. Thoroughly informed by contemporary scholarship, this is a timely and significant contribution to the recovery of lament and protest prayer in the Church.
— William Morrow, Queen's University
London’s premise is that we’re addicted to blame—somebody must be at fault for the pain we’re experiencing or the fix we’re in!—which sets in motion the tragic human cycle of scapegoating and persecuting, of violence and counterviolence. London’s Jesus won’t play that game. Instead, he invites us to blame him, even kill him, as a way to open our eyes and heal our souls. This is a most beautiful and creative retelling of the Jesus story, written from the heart.
A beautiful blend of careful scholarship, biblical insight, spiritual depth and genuine humanity.
— Douglas Frank, author of A Gentler God