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The Political Samaritan

How power hijacked a parable

Nick Spencer



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01 January 2018
Nick Spencer sets out to rescue an innocent parable, mugged for political ends, ignored by passers-by, and then left for half-dead at the edge of the English language.

The parable of the Good Samaritan has been used by almost every major British politician over recent years - from Theresa May and Tony Blair to Margaret Thatcher and Jeremy Corbyn. But they don't all use it to say the same thing.

Discussing the various figures who've politicised the Samaritan, Spencer - described by the Economist as 'like a prophet crying in the post-modern wilderness' - explains why and how Jesus' famous parable got mixed up in politics. From abolitionists to warmongers, prime ministers to activists such as Dr Martin Luther King, he uncovers the reasons for the parable's popularity - and then asks the killer question: who gets it right?

If the Good Samaritan has been dragged on to the political stage, whose side is he on?
By:   Nick Spencer
Imprint:   Bloomsbury
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 216mm,  Width: 135mm, 
Weight:   232g
ISBN:   9781472942210
ISBN 10:   1472942213
Pages:   208
Publication Date:   01 January 2018
Audience:   General/trade ,  Professional and scholarly ,  ELT Advanced ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Nick Spencer is Director of Theos, a Christian think tank. He is the author of Atheists: The Origin of the Species (Bloomsbury) and Freedom and Order: History Politics and the English Bible (Hodder and Stoughton).

Reviews for The Political Samaritan: How power hijacked a parable

Engagingly written, wide-ranging, and important ... this journey through the political Samaritan's uses/misuses, meanings, and citations leaves us with whole new sets of questions about the politics of our society and the place of religion within it. * Church Times *

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