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The Upside-Down Kingdom, updated ed.
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The Upside-Down Kingdom, updated ed.


Herald Press 2011

Runs on Windows, Mac and mobile.


Challenging the passive, “meek-and-mild” perception of Jesus still taught in many churches today, The Upside-Down Kingdom brings us back to Jesus’ teachings as perceived in his culture and context. Revealing a kingdom ruled by God where death brings life, the last are first, and victory is attained only by giving oneself up, Donald Kraybill presents Christ’s “Kingdom of God” as a social impetus meant to overturn the world as we know it. Kraybill’s evident love for Scripture and his enjoyable, relaxed style make The Upside-Down Kingdom just as fun to read as it is spiritually engaging. And when we realize that the right-side-up kingdoms and worldly authorities around us are not the kingdoms God intended, we find ourselves left with the question: What kind of kingdom are we called to live in?

The Logos edition of this volume gives you amazing features that take your study to a whole new level. Search through and see what Donald Kraybill has to say about “authority,” or mouse-over his mention of Matthew 6:33 and instantly see what it says in your favorite translation.

The Upside-Down Kingdom is the winner of the 1979 National Religious Book Award.

Key Features

  • Approaches Jesus’ teachings from the perspective of his culture
  • Presents clear, logical arguments that show how Jesus’ message is still relevant in our culture
  • Contains three new essays from people whose lives have been changed by this book


  • Chapter 1: Down Is Up
  • Chapter 2: Mountain Politics
  • Chapter 3: Temple Piety
  • Chapter 4: Wilderness Bread
  • Chapter 5: Free Slaves
  • Chapter 6: Luxurious Poverty
  • Chapter 7: Right-Side-Up Detours
  • Chapter 8: Impious Piety
  • Chapter 9: Lovable Enemies
  • Chapter 10: Inside Outsiders
  • Chapter 11: Low Is High
  • Chapter 12: Successful Failures

Praise for the Print Edition

Whenever I find myself becoming too comfortable in this right-side-up world of ours, I return to Kraybill’s book in the hope that it will inspire me to take a spiritual somersault. It always does.

—Kerry Walters, author of The Art of Dying and Living and professor of philosophy, Gettysburg College

My students respond very well to The Upside-Down Kingdom’s sustained challenge to examine familiar realities in a completely new way. It is a wonderful tool to stimulate the sociological imagination.

—Joao Monteiro, professor of sociology, Eastern University

The Upside-Down Kingdom overturns many of our sacred tables, beginning with our own temples, continuing on through the global marketplace, and landing squarely in the middle of the war on terror.

—Michael G. Long, associate professor of religious studies and peace and conflict studies, Elizabethtown College

Kraybill’s book was my first exposure to the fact that in Scripture the phrase “kingdom of God” is so much more than someplace to go when I die.

—Mike Clawson, leader in the emerging church movement

Product Details

  • Title: The Upside-Down Kingdom
  • Author: Donald B. Kraybill
  • Edition: Updated Edition
  • Publisher: Herald Press
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 319

About Donald B. Kraybill

Donald B. Kraybill is a senior fellow at the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College (Pennsylvania), where he holds a joint appointment in the departments of sociology and religious studies. He has served as a pastor and held various leadership roles with Mennonite and Church of the Brethren organizations.

Widely recognized for his scholarship on Anabaptist communities, Kraybill is the author, co-author, or editor of many books and essays on Anabaptist faith and life, including Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy (co-author) and the Concise Encyclopedia of Amish, Brethren, Hutterites and Mennonites.

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