Romans Disarmed 

Resisting Empire and Demanding Justice

Book Information

Full Title: Romans Disarmed: Resisting Empire, Demanding Justice


Sylvia C. Keesmaat (DPhil, University of Oxford) is adjunct professor of biblical studies at Trinity College and Wycliffe College in Toronto, Ontario, and biblical scholar in residence at St. James Anglican Church in Fenelon Falls. She is the author of Paul and His Story: (Re)Interpreting the Exodus Tradition, editor of The Advent of Justice, and coauthor, with Brian Walsh, of Colossians Remixed: Subverting the Empire. Keesmaat and Walsh live on an off-grid permaculture farm in Cameron, Ontario, with a fluctuating number of animals and people.

Brian J. Walsh (PhD, McGill University) serves as a Christian Reformed campus minister at the University of Toronto and is an adjunct professor of theology at Trinity College and Wycliffe College in Toronto, Ontario. He has written numerous books, including Kicking at the Darkness: Bruce Cockburn and the Christian Imagination, The Transforming Vision, and Truth Is Stranger Than It Used to Be. He is the coauthor, with Sylvia Keesmaat, of Colossians Remixed: Subverting the Empire. Walsh and Keesmaat live on a solar-powered permaculture farm in Cameron, Ontario.

Is the Audible Book read by the author: Yes

Related Books: Collosians Remixed.

Editorial Reviews:

"Sylvia and Brian are two of my favorite Bible scholars. Whether you're over-churched or under-churched, they stir in you a fresh curiosity for the Bible. This new book is perfect for scholars and new Bible readers alike, and for everyone in between."

--Shane Claiborne, author, activist, and cofounder of Red Letter Christians

"If you want to hear--and experience--Paul's letter to the Jewish and gentile Christ-followers in Rome as you never have, read this book. And re-read it. Keesmaat and Walsh bring the message of Romans into dialogue with our lives today, as we struggle to be faithful to the good news of Messiah Jesus in our own imperial context."

--J. Richard Middleton, Northeastern Seminary at Roberts Wesleyan College

"Keesmaat and Walsh write into the headwinds of Trumpism, deepening social disparity, ecological crisis, and endless war. Building on recent scholarship, this brilliant study engages the original audience, who labored under the shadow of empire, in a way that brings its message to life for similarly struggling North American Christians. The result is a fresh and committed reading by two of our generation's best interpreters of Word and world."

--Ched Myers, Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries

"You (and I!) have never read Romans like this before. It has been weaponized by some and reduced to abstraction by others as has perhaps no other biblical book. Keesmaat and Walsh have disarmed such uses and returned it to the real, flesh-and-blood world."

--Greg Paul, Sanctuary Toronto community member and author of God in the Alley and Resurrecting Religion

"Keesmaat and Walsh use an artistic mix of story, poetry, imaginative discourse, and solid biblical and social-cultural-historical background that allows the reader to understand the book of Romans from an alternative, and I believe more accurate, point of view."

--Randy S. Woodley, author of Shalom and the Community of Creation: An Indigenous Vision

Reviews and Links

Chapter Fourteen Review

"Romans Disarmed: Resisting Empire/Demanding Justice" by Sylvia C. Keesmaat and Brian J. Walsh is a thought-provoking and challenging book that re-examines the Book of Romans in light of contemporary issues of empire and justice. The authors argue that the dominant interpretations of Romans have often been used to justify oppressive systems of power and violence, and they offer a fresh and alternative reading that emphasizes the radical message of love and justice at the heart of Paul's theology. Drawing on insights from contemporary social and political theory, Keesmaat and Walsh argue that Paul's vision of the church as a community of resistance to empire has important implications for our contemporary struggles for justice and liberation.

The book is well-written and engaging, and it offers a compelling argument for why Christians should be actively engaged in resisting the forces of empire and demanding justice for the marginalized and oppressed. While the book may challenge some readers' assumptions and beliefs, it is ultimately a hopeful and inspiring work that offers a vision of Christianity that is both faithful to the biblical text and relevant to our contemporary context. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in exploring the intersections of faith, politics, and justice, and who is looking for a fresh and innovative approach to interpreting the Bible.