Transforming Atonement: A Political Theology of the Cross

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Fortress Press, 2009 - Religion - 265 pages
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Many books on the Christian doctrine of atonement have been published in recent years. Some point out the difficulties of traditional atonement theories; others attempt a revision of one of the classical three types; others attempt to combine aspects of these types.Jennings attempts something new: by approaching the question of the meaning of the cross through close attention to the biblical passages that serve as the basis of any reflection on the cross of Jesus and an engagement with patristic as well as contemporary discussion. The result is an alternative theology of the cross that grounds the message concerning the cross in the socio-political reality in which it was historically located and points to the way in which this message bears upon contemporary social and ecclesial reality.Jennings's truly fresh understanding for Christians of the meaning of Jesus' death specifically grounds the cross in the concrete political confrontation within which it occurred, relates the message about the cross to the practice of Jesus (thus keeping in relationship the gospels and the theology of Paul), and shows how the cross bears on overcoming of human division and sin, reconciliation to God, and new forms of social reality in the community of the crucified.
  

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Contents

Rethinking Atonement
1
Wornout language
2
The contemporary problematic
10
Outline of the project
18
The Cross against the Principalities and Powers
23
Cross and Domination
25
The historical reality of the cross
29
The execution of Jesus
31
Healings and the cross
115
Martyrdom and mortality
118
The bodies of women and slaves
120
The festival of life released from death
122
Conclusion
123
Reconciliation with God
125
Who is reconciled?
127
Overcoming han
131

The policy of Jesus
34
The provocation of Jesus
36
The cross against empire Paul
40
The cross of the disciple
43
Decoding the cross patristic perspectives
50
The cross against the violence of domination today
55
The Cross and Division
61
The practice of Jesus
65
Handed over to the gentiles
69
Gentile mission
71
Patristic perspectives
74
Neither slave nor free
76
Neither male nor female
79
The cross and division today
80
the election of Israel
83
The Cross and Accusation
85
The practice of Jesus
86
The condemnation of Jesus
96
Christ and sinners Paul
98
Welcome one another Paul
101
The cross against accusation today
103
The Cross and Suffering
105
Unjust suffering
106
Unjust and natural suffering
110
The ministry of Jesus
112
Implications of the Cross
147
The Community of the Crucified
149
The centrality of the cross 1 Corinthians 13
150
The question of Communion
159
Jesus and quarreling disciples
163
Let love be genuine Paul
167
The embattled community
170
Old community or new?
173
Dying within the Messiah
175
The way of the cross
178
Crucified to the flesh
180
The question of asceticism
190
The question of baptism
193
A life of vulnerability to the other
195
The Cross of God
199
historical perspectives
201
Nineteenthcentury reflections
205
Overcoming divine apathy
206
Toward a political theology of the cross
211
After Atonement?
217
Notes
231
Bibliography
251
Index
259
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About the author (2009)

Theodore W. Jennings Jr. is Professor of Biblical and Constructive Theology, Chicago Theological Seminary, Chicago. With interests ranging across Christian doctrine and biblical theology, his recent writings include Jacob's Wound: Homoerotic Narrative in the Literature of Ancient Israel; Reading Derrida, Thinking Paul; and The Insurrection of the Crucified.

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