The first Christians lived out a new social order and envisaged the world anew. Divisions, inequalities and injustices would be overturned as the world would reflect a new kind of reign. In the Kingdom of God, the powerful are brought low, while the oppressed are raised up; the hungry are filled with good things, while the rich are sent empty away; the wolf lives with the lamb, and the leopard lies down with the goat; the slave becomes the son, the master is the servant of all and the meek will inherit the earth.
This same upside-down Kingdom is echoed in the Carnival festivals of the Medieval era, which both parodied the oppressive structures of their day and dramatically portrayed an alternative reality. In this book, twelve scholars, theologians, and social activists from around the world take up the Carnival’s call for justice and a renewed society, and portray in their own contexts the Kingdom of God coming in justice and fullness of life – the coming of the Carnival Kingdom.
“In Carnival Kingdom, an international team of scholars and activists explore a range of contemporary justice issues through the revolutionary lens of biblical images depicting the coming Reign of God- feasting, dancing, laughter, the dismantling of oppressive social hierarchies. This is Christian scholarship as it ought to be: biblically rooted, historically informed, socially engaged, and politically subversive. It deserves a wide readership.”
Vinoth Ramachandra, Author of Subverting Global Myths and IFES Secretary for Dialogue & Social Engagement.
“This crack team of seasoned Christian activists and academics have provided sparkling images from Lord of the Rings, Martin Luther and even medieval carnivals, which have provided innovative and provocative ways to rethink and reconnect with God's Kingdom. This book is a fascinating read and will inspire the Church's imagination for justice.”
Dr Krish Kandiah, executive director: churches in mission, Evangelical Alliance UK
“This is a really excellent book, with fresh insights and creative thinking, all strongly rooted in the missional contexts in which the writers are based.”
Ruth Valerio, author of L is for Lifestyle
“This thoughtful, well-researched book explores the way justice is interwoven with the Kingdom of God and the mission of the Church. Yet it tackles these historical themes in a delightful and imaginative way, opening up vital, contemporary reflections in biblical theology and social analysis. Its reach is global; its concerns multiple; its vision inspirational. It will be a great resource for reflection and Christian action.”
Elaine Storkey, president of Tearfund UK, broadcaster, author, and theologian