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Posted August 17, 2006

Book: Cross Examinations: Readings on the Meaning of the Cross Today
Editor: Marit Trelstad
Fortress Press, Minneapolis. MN. 2006. Pp. 320

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

In today’s theological landscape the significance of the cross has been both strongly affirmed and radically questioned. This exciting volume gathers theologians and historians who have explored the critical and constructive issues: Do traditional understandings of the cross valorize suffering or violence? Are they too individualistic? Are the older soteriological models, which see redemption as a kind of ransom or debt satisfaction, fitting for the contemporary worldview? Pastorally, do they produce a piety that encourages Christians, especially women, to acquiesce in needless suffering? Or does the Cross precisely meet the massive suffering and injustice of today’s world.?

An Excerpt from the Book:

Jurgen Moltmann

And where are we today? Before September 11, 2001, America was successfully globalizing American power and culture with a kind of universal optimism in the new world order, or novus ordo seclorum., as it is written on every dollar bill. After the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, a new ‘age of anxiety’ seems to have come over us. In order not to sink into an abyss of despair, we should discover anew the face of the Crucified One in the faces of the victims of violence, the “crucified people,” as Jon Sobrino would say. What is the crucial theological question? Should we ask, “Why did God let ths massacre happen?” Would this not say that our God is the God of terrorists, and that they were unconsciously God’s obedient servants? Or should we ask, “Were was God in these attacks?” and find God as the suffering God among the victims? Is God not weeping and crying over the death of his beloved children? Jesus wept over the destruction of Jerusalem, and so tears rolled down the face of God at Ground Zero as surely as they did over Jerusalem, and we are called to participate in these sufferings of God with all our compassion.

This was and is the decisive question of The Crucified God. Is God transcendent and untouched stage manager of the theater of this violent world, or is God in Christ the central engaged figure of the world tragedy?

Part I

The Cross in Racial and Gender Oppression

Part II

The Cross: God and the Suffering World

Part III

The Cross: Imperialism, Violence, and Peace