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A Theology of the Cross: The Death of Jesus in the Pauline Letters

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In Paul’s epistles the crucifixion story reveals a God who is free and in no way bound by human categories or expectations. Yet God in Christ chooses to be engaged in the very depths of the human predicament. The message of the crucifixion is that God’s power is manifested in weakness, not in strength. The author believes that this “weakness as strength” should be the focal point of the church’s identity. However, a celebration of weakness is in complete opposition to traditional American beliefs in personal strength and a powerful church.

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  • Shows that the cross can not be contained by a single definition
  • Examines the obedient act of striving to understand the cross in its entirety
  • Addresses the resistance of American culture to embrace the theology of the cross
  • Editor’s Foreword
  • Preface
  • Abbreviations
  • Introduction
    • “Theology of the Cross”
    • Ernst Läsemann on the Death of Jesus
    • Plan of the Book
    • Excursus: The Language of Crucifixion
  • Jesus’ Death and God
  • Jesus’ Death and Human Sinfulness
  • Jesus’ Death and Resurrection
  • Jesus’ Death and the People of God
  • Jesus’s Death and the Christian Life
  • Conclusion
    • Theology and the Cross
    • The God Revealed in the Cross
    • The Cross as the Church’s Norm
    • The Cross and God’s Grace
    • The Cross and God’s Victory
Charles Cousar’s A Theology of the Cross moves gracefully between critical exegesis and theological reflection. Deftly expositing Paul’s interpretation of the cross and resurrection, Cousar corrects the polemical imbalance of Kasemann’s treatment while updating its insights about the urgency of the word of the cross for the church today. Cousar’s discerning work is a splendid achievement: at once deeply conversant with cutting-edge technical scholarship and written with great lucidity for the nonspecialist, it illumines Paul’s message in a way that will prove especially valuable for pastors and students. I know of no other work that so helpfully synthesizes important recent developments in the study of Pauline theology.

Richard B. Hays, George Washington Ivey Professor of New Testament, Suke Divinity School

  • Title: A Theology of the Cross: The Death of Jesus in the Pauline Letters
  • Author: Charles B. Cousar
  • Publisher: Fortress Press
  • Publication Date: 1990
  • Pages: 208

Charles B. Cousar is the Samuel A. Cartledge Professor of New Testament Emeritus at Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, Georgia. Cousar, who has made significant contributions to biblical studies, retired from his position at Columbia Theological Seminary where he received the Distinguished Service Award. He is the author of Theology of the Cross, An Introduction to the New Testament and The Letters of Paul.


Digital list price: $16.99
Save $3.00 (17%)