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The biblical narratives of Jesus’ passion and death hold a unique place in Christian devotion and art. Here, five distinguished American writers wrestle with these Gospel narratives in new ways that draw readers more closely into the texts. In her reflection on Luke, Stephanie Saldaña, living in Jerusalem, takes us to the sites of Holy Week, meditating both on the gospel and her experiences as a writer and a mother in a city torn by sectarian strife. Julia Alvarez begins with her memories of the Stations of the Cross as a young girl in the Dominican Republic and then reflects on how reading the Gospel of Mark makes her look more carefully at the stories behind the traditional Stations of the Cross. John Elder contrasts the tension and anger in Matthew’s story with the vision of Jesus he learned from his family. Jay Parini reflects on the ways he has read the fourth gospel at different stages of his life. Finally, Elizabeth Cook wrestles with the challenge of adapting the story of Calvary for the twenty-first century, not for readers but for an audience who will hear the story in a libretto sung to a very contemporary classical score. 

Together, these beautifully rendered, powerful reflections invite us to draw deeper meaning from the Passion for our own lives.

Oliver Larry Yarbrough is director of the Scott Center for Spiritual and Religious Life at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont.

Book Details

Contemporary Writers on the Story of Calvary
Oliver Larry Yarbrough, editor
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Passion Table of Contents 94 Kb
The perspectives on the events of Holy Week that are brought together in this volume are rich and diverse. The very concept of collecting a variety of takes on the Passion narrative is itself an inviting one.
A fine collection.... From a visit to the sites of Holy Week to an author's memories of the Stations of the Cross, this presents an outstanding series of insights into how Christian thinking and Gospel stories relate to modern Christian lives, and is a top recommendation for any Christian thinker.
Informed, informative, thoughtful, thought-provoking, inspired and inspiring, Passion: Contemporary Writers on the Story of Cavalry is an extraordinary collection and very strongly recommended for church, seminary, and academic library New Testament Studies reference collections.
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