Trojan, Jakub S.
From Christ's Death to Jesus' Life
A Critical Reinterpretation of Prevailing Theories of the Cross
Translated by Joyce J. Michael
Year of Publication: 2012
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2012. XII, 443 pp.
ISBN 978-3-0343-0773-4 pb. (Softcover)
ISBN 978-3-0353-0313-1 (eBook)
Weight: 0.670 kg, 1.477 lbs
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This book began to materialize in the 1960s and 1970s during clandestine seminars organized by the author for Czechoslovak thinkers who dared to ponder theological questions during the communist era. It therefore provides a revealing glimpse of some of the issues that were of concern to people living under the domination of both the Nazi and communist regimes. This aspect of the book is evident in its emphasis on questions of theodicy which are raised by the idea that Jesus' death was initiated by God.
At the same time, the book is very much concerned with contemporary issues. By analyzing traditional understandings of the cross held by a number of prominent theologians, the author seeks to address the fact that classic theories of the atonement do not speak in a compelling way to today's secularized, post-Christian milieu. After examining perspectives that place central emphasis on the salvific consequence of Jesus' death, the author presents his own views regarding the significance that Jesus' life may have for the present age. He challenges his readers to venture a living interpretation of Scripture and explores the possibility that God's plan of salvation is most faithfully represented by the compassion and justice that Jesus modelled throughout his entire life.
Contents: Interpretations of the cross advanced by Czech scholars, J. L. Hromádka, J. B. Soucek, P. Pokorný and Jan Heller; German theologians, K. Barth, W. Pannenberg, H. Berkhof, R. Bultmann, F. Gogarten, E. Jüngel, G. Ebeling and P. Tillich; and the Japanese thinker, K. Kitamori - The writings of J. Moltmann and the debate related to his book The Crucified God - The failure of liberal theology and inadequacy of substitutionary theories of the atonement in a post-Holocaust, post-communist world - Existential implications of interrelated assumptions regarding God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit - Revising traditional views of prayer, reconciliation, forgiveness, Scripture, the sacraments, and God's will and Jesus' role in the history of salvation - Envisioning God as 'other', Jesus as the most faithful witness to God's cause and the Holy Spirit as a spiritual catalyst - Interpreting Jesus as a descending God and incarnate Logos, i.e., an eschatological Truth coming toward us from the future.
About the author(s)/editor(s)
After obtaining a Doctor of Divinity in 1970 and serving as a pastor in the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren, Jakub S. Trojan was stripped of his preaching license and forced to manage a cooperative during the communist era. Although he was frequently under surveillance, he participated in a group called 'New Orientation', which sought to relate the gospel to social and political issues, and he was a signatory of the human rights document Charter 77. Following the collapse of communism in 1989, he became the dean of the Protestant Theological Faculty of Charles University in Prague and served as the chair of its Department of Ethics prior to his retirement in 2007. He is the author of numerous articles, books and poems, and continues to teach at PTF, where he challenges his students to step beyond the limiting perspectives of fundamentalism and secularism.
Joyce J. Michael holds a PhD in religious studies from Syracuse University and served as a United Methodist minister and an adjunct lecturer at two Ohio universities prior to relocating to the Czech Republic in 1999. Since that time, she has translated and edited a number of works by Czech scholars and has written a series of her own reflections on the Czech milieu.