Jesus loves borders, guns, unborn babies, and economic prosperity and hates homosexuality, taxes, welfare, and universal healthcare—or so say many Republican politicians, pundits, and preachers. Through outrageous misreadings of the New Testament gospels going back almost a century, conservative influencers have conjured a version of Jesus who speaks to their fears, desires, and resentments.
In Republican Jesus, Tony Keddie explains not only where this right-wing Christ came from and what he stands for, but also why this version of Jesus is a fraud. By restoring Republicans' cherry-picked gospel texts to their original literary and historical contexts, Keddie dismantles the biblical basis for Republican positions on hot-button issues like Big Government, taxation, abortion, immigration, and climate change. At the same time, he introduces readers to an ancient Jesus whose life experiences and ethics were totally unlike those of modern Americans, conservatives and liberals alike.
Available in hardcover and as an eBook through The University of California Press and other major booksellers. Please consider ordering it through an independent bookstore and/or requesting that your local or university library purchase a copy.
You can read an excerpt of chapter 5 of the book, "God Made Them Male and Female...and Eunuch," on Religion Dispatches.
“Witty, insightful... A thorough, convincing study that’s perfect for anyone flummoxed by misuses of the teachings of Jesus.”
"Written by a first-rate expert on the New Testament, Republican Jesus is a compelling and no-holds barred tour de force: whatever proponents of the Christian right might claim, the Republican Jesus stands radically at odds with the Jesus of the gospels. This is a must-read for our divisive and dangerous times."
—Bart Ehrman, author of Heaven and Hell: A History of the Afterlife
“Tony Keddie’s indispensable book serves as the final word on Republican attempts to claim ownership over Jesus Christ, whose actual words and deeds stand as an eternal condemnation of nearly every Republican goal in the last half decade of American political life.”
—Reza Aslan, author of Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
“Keddie makes a convincing case that the leaders of the Christian Right, and especially Donald Trump’s court evangelicals, have often allowed politics to shape their reading of the Bible and not the other way around.”
—John Fea, author of Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump