“Thine is the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory”: New Vistas for the Theology of the Cross


  • Craig L. Nessan

    1. Craig L. Nessan is Professor of Contextual Theology and Academic Dean at Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. He is the author of the recent books, Shalom Church: The Body of Christ as Ministering Community (Fortress, 2010) and Liberating Lutheran Theology: Freedom for Justice and Solidarity in a Global Context (with Paul Chung and Ulrich Duchrow, Fortress, 2011).
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Abstract:  This article examines fifteen recent books on a theology of the cross in the English language. Following the publication of Moltmann's The Crucified God and Hall's Lighten Our Darkness in the 1970s, unprecedented interest has been devoted to a theology of the cross in theological literature. The author categorizes this literature into four types: exegetical and historical treatments, critiques of theologies of glory, challenges to the abuse of power, and signals of the coming of God's kingdom. Two hypotheses are ventured regarding the emergence of these works at this time: 1) they evidence a theological response to the enormity of human suffering brought into awareness in an age of instant electronic communication; and 2) the urgent concern for the poor and the cry for social justice, which emerged with liberation theologies, are now finding expression through advocates for the theology of the cross.