From Publishers Weekly
This spare and unsparing book of meditations by Hauerwas, a professor of theological ethics at Duke, departs from the style of some of his other work. The theologian's characteristic wit is absent ("There is no humor in these meditations," he cautions readers at the outset), and his usual aggressive style vis-à-vis other thinkers has been considerably muted. However, Hauerwas readers will recognize his customary iconoclasm, emphasis on the Trinity and determination to begin any theological conversation with God, not with human experience. Hauerwas strips down the seven last sayings of Jesus to their barest essence, refusing to psychologize or proffer easy explanations for hard truths. For the third saying ("Woman, behold thy son!"), he points out that the Jesus of the New Testament was nothing if not anti-family, and then launches into an utterly fascinating argument that Mary, the mother of Jesus, is presented as the "new Abraham" throughout the Gospels and the Book of Hebrews. Many readers will find it refreshing to see a Protestant theologian recognize Mary's unique role in salvation and in the church. One note of caution: although these essays are short and the entire book clocks in at right around 100 pages, even serious readers will find that this is not a collection to be consumed in a single sitting. It would make excellent devotional reading for all of Holy Week, using each reflection for a full day's rumination.
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From the Back Cover
"Packed with good theology. . . . I read Hauerwas's book slowly and, in the process, discovered a number of new ways of thinking about the Passion narratives. This book would make good reading during the Lenten season or a nice companion text for a retreat. An added advantage is handsome woodcuts by Rick Beerhorst."
--Lawrence S. Cunningham
"This slim volume provides some strong and salutary reading for the Lenten season. Famed theologian and writer Stanley Hauerwas takes up a time-honored and beautiful tradition of reflecting on the seven last words of Jesus in his Passion. Each of these meditations . . . deals powerfully with these evocative biblical texts and their implications for Christian life today."
--Donald Senior, CP
, The Bible Today
"Hauerwas strips down the seven last sayings of Jesus to their barest essence, refusing to psychologize or proffer easy explanations for hard truths. . . . [This book] would make excellent devotional reading for all of Holy Week, using each reflection for a full day's rumination."
"A brief but intensely observed discussion of the theological issues that subtend the last utterances of Jesus on the cross. Hauerwas's theology and approach belong squarely in the mainstream tradition of Christian theology about Christ and redemption; many readers will gain profound insight from his deftly phrased, swiftly moving observations. Highly recommended."
, Library Journal