The Cross in Contexts

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"Don’t read this book if you are content with an escapist faith that requires no real sacrifice of you on behalf of others, even enemies. Only read it if you want to grow in the kind of knowledge that matters and the kind of faith that leaves no room for apathy or excuses. By their words and example, each of the authors has rekindled my commitment to find God in the most unexpected places." --Rev. Dr. Jaime Clark-Soles, Perkins School of Theology 

Why did Jesus die? And in what ways did his crucifixion offer redemption to the world?

Those questions, which lie at the heart of Christian faith, remain a pressing concern for theological reflection. What sets this work apart is that the authors—a Palestinian theologian from Bethlehem and a New Testament scholar from the United States—explore the meaning of the cross in light of both first and twenty-first century Palestinian contexts. Together, their insights coalesce around themes that expose the divine power of the cross both for Jesus'  first followers and for contemporary readers alike.

Mitri Raheb is the President of Dar al-Kalima University College in Bethlehem as well as the president of the Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land. He serves as the Senior Pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem, Palestine. In 2015 he was awarded the Olof Palme Prize, along with Israeli journalist Gideon Levy. Rev. Raheb is the author of Faith in the Face of Empire (Orbis, 2014).

Suzanne Watts Henderson, an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), is associate professor of Religion at Queens University in Charlotte, NC. She is the author of Christology and Discipleship in the Gospel of Mark (Cambridge UP, 2008), and Christ and Community: The Gospel Witness to Jesus (Abingdon, 2015).

Book Details

The Cross in Contexts
Suffering and Redemption in Palestine
Mitri Raheb
Suzanne Watts Henderson
File name Filesize
The Cross in Contexts Table of Contents 132 Kb
The significant strengths of this volume lie in its highly accessible writing style, its innovative format of dialogue between professor and pastor, and its persistent and provocative focus on the political ironies of the cross of Jesus Christ within the real world of the twenty-first century.
The strength of the book is that it centers not on Israeli policies towards Palestinians,which can so easily if unfairly be dismissed as anti-Semitism, but, rather, on the common ground between those who have lived in this narrow contested passageway that is Palestine: the people of Israel through imperial conquest and exile, the early Christians, and
the Palestinians (Muslim and Christian) today.
An impassioned and thoughtful reflection on the meaning of the cross in the context of present-day Palestine and the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.... Gripping.
“This unique book about contexts presents a profound reorientation of the meaning of the cross through a reflective conversation between the context of contemporary Palestine, voiced by Mitri Raheb, and the context of the scriptural texts, presented by Suzanne Watts Henderson. Together, they make a strong case for a reexamination of the meaning of the cross for the marginalized, the oppressed, the poor, and the powerless, as well as for the privileged and powerful. This book is essential reading in the midst of challenging times.”
“In this profound book, Mitri Raheb and Suzanne Watts Henderson explore the mysterious redemptive potential of the cross as it is experienced in the unjust suffering of the Palestinians, who are truly one of the ‘crucified peoples’ of our world. Though the darkness of the cross is at the center of this story—for both Jesus and the Palestinians—they help us remember that it is not the end of the story.”
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