“A profound, imaginative and all-encompassing study” – Jane Williams
The cross is the defining symbol of Christianity. It is by turn misunderstood, misappropriated, venerated, and under-appreciated; absorbing a variety of meanings from the inspiring to the problematic. Inside or outside the church, its over-familiarity is its strength and its weakness, reduced at times to mere branding.
Yet within the New Testament scriptures, and the lives of the early Christian communities, ‘the cross’ represents a multi-faceted theology which grapples with state violence, lament, supernatural healing, self-sacrifice; a life full of fear and mystery. By combing through those writings, we discover a cross which is not a static symbol, but an unfinished process: defining the shape of our own lives, if we dare to let it.
“The cross can become a kind of theological shorthand whose full message, when teased out, portrays a God who is cruel and vindictive. But the life, mission and resurrection of Jesus allows his death on the cross to be understood as an act of self-transcendence for the sake of the other: and a God who is life-giving, whose love knows no bounds.”