Theology and Religious Studies Professor Wes Howard-Brook published Empire Baptized: How the Church Embraced What Jesus Rejected (2nd - 5th Centuries) (Orbis Books, 2016). In his previous book, Come Out My People! (Orbis Books, 2010), Howard-Brook outlined an ambitious interpretation of the Bible as a struggle between two competing religious visions: a “religion of empire” and a “religion of creation” embraced by the prophets and Jesus. In Empire Baptized, he focuses on how Christianity became a religion of empire during the 2nd to 5th centuries.
“The combined influence of Greek philosophy and Roman imperial social structures shifted the emphasis from fostering egalitarian relationships and transforming the world to the goal of saving one’s soul,” he said. “We now need to look at that early beginning and reject imperial Christianity and rediscover the transformative power of the Good News of Jesus.”
Howard-Brook, who teaches in the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Theology and Ministry, received his J.D. from the Hastings College of the Law and his M.Div. from Seattle University. He is a prolific scholar whose articles have been published in national and international journals. Empire Baptized is his seventh book.