A Letter from the Publisher

Robert Ellsberg


We have some exciting news for you, which I’ll save to the end of this letter.

Over 1000 years ago St. Anselm published “Cur Deus Homo” (“Why God Became Human.”) Anselm’s scholarly argument shaped the enduring and influential concept that Jesus had to die on the cross to atone for human sin. Since then, many theologians, including Pope Benedict, have struggled with this theory’s problems, including its reliance on feudal notions and how it tends to make God into something of a monster. Elizabeth Johnson addresses another problem: the incapacity of this theory to account for cosmic redemption in a time of advancing ecological devastation. In her new book, Creation and the Cross: The Mercy of God for a Planet in Peril, she provides a long-needed antidote. Writing, as Anselm did, in the form of a dialogue between teacher and student, she draws on scripture and the teachings of Jesus to advance a cosmic understanding of redemption that emphasizes the love and mercy—rather than the offended honor—of God. It joins a list of groundbreaking works that have established Johnson’s reputation as one of the outstanding theologians of our time.


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