The cross stirs intense feelings among Christians as well as non-Christians. Robin Jensen takes readers on an intellectual and spiritual journey through the two-thousand-year evolution of the cross as an idea and an artifact, illuminating the controversies—along with the forms of devotion—this central symbol of Christianity inspires.Jesus’s death on the cross posed a dilemma for Saint Paul and the early Church fathers. Crucifixion was a humiliating form of execution reserved for slaves and criminals. How could their messiah and savior have been subjected to such an ignominious death? Wrestling with this paradox, they reimagined the cross as a triumphant expression of Christ’s sacrificial love and miraculous resurrection. Over time, the symbol’s transformation raised myriad doctrinal questions, particularly about the crucifix—the cross with the figure of Christ—and whether it should emphasize Jesus’s suffering or his glorification. How should Jesus’s body be depicted: alive or dead, naked or dressed? Should it be shown at all?Jensen’s wide-ranging study focuses on the cross in painting and literature, the quest for the “true cross” in Jerusalem, and the symbol’s role in conflicts from the Crusades to wars of colonial conquest. The Cross also reveals how Jews and Muslims viewed the most sacred of all Christian emblems and explains its role in public life in the West today.
This book is the first comprehensive analysis of the thought of Ignacio Ellacuría, the Jesuit philosopher-theologian martyred for his work on behalf of Latin America's oppressed peoples.
While serving as president of the Jesuit-run University of Central America in the midst of El Salvador's brutal civil war, Ellacuría was also a prolific writer. His advocacy on behalf of the country's persecuted majority provoked the enmity of the Salvadoran political establishment. On November 16, 1989, members of the Salvadoran military entered the university's campus and murdered Ellacuría, along with five other Jesuit priests and two women.
Kevin F. Burke, SJ, shows why Ellacuría is significant not only as a martyr but also as a theologian. Ellacuría effectively integrated philosophy, history, anthropology, and sociopolitical analysis into his theological reflections on salvation, spirituality, and the church to create an original contribution to liberation theology.
Ellacuría's writings directly address one of the most vexing issues in theology today: can theologians account for the demands arising from both the particularity of their various social-historical situations and also the universal claims of Christian revelation? Burke explains how Ellacuría bases theology in a philosophy of historical reality—the "ground beneath the cross"—and interprets the suffering of "the crucified peoples" in the light of Jesus' crucifixion. Ellacuría thus inserts the theological realities of salvation and transcendence squarely within the course of human events, and he connects these to the Christian mandate to "take the crucified peoples down from their crosses." Placing Ellacuría's thought in the context of historical trends within the Roman Catholic Church, particularly Vatican II and the rise of liberation theology in Latin America, Burke argues that Ellacuría makes a distinctive contribution to contemporary Catholic theology.
In The Kachina and the Cross, Carroll Riley weaves elements of archaeology, anthropology, and history to tell a dramatic story of conflict between the Pueblo Indians and Franciscan missionaries in the seventeenth-century Spanish colony of New Mexico.
Until now, histories of the early Southwest have tended to concentrate on the Spanish presence, with little mention of Indian resistance or the decade-long war that eventually erupted. In The Kachina and the Cross Riley completes the picture by utilizing archaeological and anthropological research from the past forty years, fleshing out the story of the first century of sustained Spanish-Pueblo relations.
The Pyramid under the Cross looks at the epic project of Christianization as well as the limits of the Spanish spiritual colonizers' power to accomplish it. The book focuses on activities of Franciscan missionaries who, as the first religious order to arrive, occupied the most important political and social centers in the Valley of Mexico and set the strategies of evangelization that others would follow. One such activity, the Nahua theater of evangelization, is represented as an exemplary case of the inevitable cultural negotiation involved in the missionary process. The author explores not only the imposition of a Eurocentric worldview upon the Nahua but also the hybridization of this view as the spiritual colonizer attempted to encompass a new non-Western constituency and the latter interpreted Christianity according to its own cultural paradigms.
The book treats a wide range of texts—the Historia eclesiástica indiana, the Confessionario Mayor, the Coloquios de los Doce, and more—both by renowned Franciscan figures such as Gerónimo de Mendieta, Alonso de Molina, Bernardino de Sahagún, and by Nahua grammarians Antonio Valeriano de Azcapotzalco, Andrés Leonardo de Tlatelolco, and others. Díaz Balsera engages the cultural constraints of all the actors in the episodes she relates in order to show how the exchange between them resulted in the appropriation and/or alteration of the Spanish discourses of spiritual domination—sometimes even in their breakdown—and how it brought about the emergence of Nahua Christian subjects that would never fully leave behind their ancient ways of relating to the gods.
The Pyramid under the Cross will be of interest to readers in the areas of Hispanic literatures, history, religion, anthropology, Latin American and cultural studies, and to those working in the field of colonial studies.
Browse our collection.
See BiblioVault's publisher services.
Files for college accessibility offices.
UChicago Accessibility Resources
BiblioVault ® 2001 - 2024
The University of Chicago Press