This book is a detailed theological study of the last seven words spoken by Christ on the cross. Cambridge academic Dr Paul Dominiak has invited a cacophony of voices – believers and atheists alike – into a conversation about how faith and doubt coexist, and how we might chart a middle ground between the extremes of religious dogmatism and doctrinaire atheism.
Dominiak believes that exposing faith to doubt is a refining process, and listening to voices such as Nietzsche, Marx and Freud keeps us honest about ourselves and our beliefs.
Each chapter considers a different set of words spoken by Jesus as he was suffering and dying on the cross, with Dominiak tackling the concepts of forgiveness, the Kingdom of God, kinship and community, suffering and the problem of evil, spiritual thirst, perceived defeat and failure and the trinity, to help the reader better understand the message each of the words convey. Time and again throughout this book Dominiak suggests that the passion narrative should interrupt and disrupt our self-image, our preconceived ideas and our religious talk. Having considered all of Jesus’ seven words, he leaves the reader with the right to respond to who we say Jesus truly is and who we might be as a result.
While this is a valuable resource for reflection over the Lenten period, this book is more academic than devotional in nature and has not been written for a purely Christian audience.