How do we hope in the face of modernity’s failure and postmodernity’s absence of foundations? How do we hope when the future seems fearful and no clear way forward appears? How do we hope when despair, indifference, and cynicism dominate the psychic landscape of English-speaking North America? In dialogue with theologians of the cross George Grant and Douglas John Hall, this book unmasks the failure of hope in our time and the vacuum of meaning that remains. As an exercise in the theology of the cross, Waiting at the Foot of the Cross explores the North American context as one in which true hope is discovered only when life’s negations are engaged from a posture of waiting trust. Such hope is not passive or blind. Rather, it is attentive, active, open, and spiritually grounded in the One who meets us when all hope is spent. The final chapter proposes a way toward hope for today that inspires subversive resilience in the face of the ambiguities and vicissitudes of life. Readers interested in the theology of the cross, in thinking theologically in our time and place, and those interested in the character of Christian hope will find this book compelling.
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- Discusses the concept of hope during times of crisis
- Elaborates on the criticisms and ideas of George Grant and Douglas John Hall
- Focuses on a North American context of active hope
- Hope at the End of Hope?
- Part 1: The Method of the Cross As Waiting
- Luther’s Theology of the Cross and Theological Method
- Grant’s Method of the Cross
- Hall’s Method of the Cross
- Part 2: Deconstructing Modern Mastery: Waiting on Hope
- Theology of the Cross and Contextuality
- Grant on Mastery and the Possibility of Hope
- Hall on Mastery and the Possibility of Hope
- Part 3: Waiting at the Foot of the Cross
- Toward a Theology and Practice of Hope
Praise for the Print Edition
Pamela McCarroll makes an eloquent plea for North American Christians to commit a subversive and countercultural act. Her creative application of the theology of the cross effectively reinterprets our primary vocation in terms of waiting in hope, open to a hidden God whom we cannot master. This book is important for all who are caught in systems of modernity that limit hope to what we can imagine.
—Sarah Travis, adjunct professor of homiletics, Knox College, University of Toronto
Waiting at the Foot of the Cross is a compelling invitation to reconsider the theology of the cross in a North American context through the complementary lenses of George Grant and Douglas John Hall. Far more than simply a recapitulation of Grant and Hall, however, the discussion turns over new theological ground and offers a thick account of hope as ‘waiting’ that is both prophetic and consoling. McCarroll has written an important and timely book.
—Thomas E. Reynolds, associate professor of theology, Emmanuel College, University of Toronto
Ultimately, McCarroll envisions practices of a hope that waits at the foot of the cross. Hers is a crucial word for the once-mainline-church in a postmodern world.
—David Schnasa Jacobsen, professor of the practice of homiletics, Boston University School of Theology
About Pamela R. McCarroll
Pamela R. McCarroll is assistant professor of pastoral theology and director of field education at Knox College in the University of Toronto. She is certified as a teaching supervisor by the Canadian Association of Spiritual Care (CASC) and ordained in the Presbyterian church in Canada. Rev. Dr. McCarroll’s areas of expertise are spiritual and pastoral care, contextual theology, and suffering and hope. She is the author of several journal articles and book chapters.