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The Crucified God: The Cross of Christ as the Foundation and Criticism of Christian Theology

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4.21  ·  Rating details ·  1,461 ratings  ·  67 reviews
"This is Jürgen Moltmann's best and therefore most important book. He has substantially changed the central thrust of his theology without sacrificing its most vital element, its passionate concern for alleviation of the world's suffering."
-Langdon Gilkey

"The Crucified God rewards, as it demands, the reader's patient and open-minded attention, for its theme is nothing othe
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Paperback, 346 pages
Published September 1st 1993 by Augsburg Fortress Publishing (first published 1972)
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David
Feb 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology, favorites
Amazing, simply amazing. This may go down as one of my all-time favorite books. I highly recommend this for pastors, teachers and anyone interested in theology. Moltmann demonstrates the absolute centrality of the cross of Christ and its meaning for Christian faith. Importantly, he does this with a robust doctrine of the Trinity; on the cross the Son experienced Fatherlessness (in the cry "my God, why have you forsaken me") and the Father experienced Sonlessness. Yet through this break in the re ...more
Bob Price
Aug 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
To the extent that I can understand him, Jurgen Moltmann's Crucified God tops the list of explorations of Christian Theology.

Developing on themes that he introduced in Theology of Hope , Moltmann now turns his attention to the crucifixion of Jesus and its theological, psychological, and political implications. Moltmann is not content to do theology for theology's sake. He sees in theology a complex matrix that helps not only the church, but the entire world.

Positively, the aspect of Moltmann'
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David Gregg
The second in Moltmann's trilogy, spanning forty-five years: commencing with "Theology of Hope" and ending with the recently-published "Ethics of Hope".
Giovanni Generoso
May 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Who is God? What is God's heart towards man, towards those who suffer, towards those who are godforsaken?

In the Crucified Christ, hanging on a tree, forsaken by God, we see God's heart towards man. Behold, the Christ has been rejected to end rejection; Christ has been oppressed to end all oppression; God has died to end all death; God is the scapegoat that ends all scapegoating. What love is this? It is the love of the Crucified God.

We wanted a God like Zeus, a God who comes with rolling thunder
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Dwight Davis
Sep 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Is it possible for a 40 year old book to be a breath of fresh air? Because this was such a breath of fresh air for me.

Moltmann articulates a theology of the cross that simultaneously takes orthodoxy and the tradition seriously while breaking new ground. Of utmost concern for Moltmann is the cross as that which liberates humanity from evil and oppression and enables us to stand in solidarity with the outcast and downtrodden. The godforsaken cross empowers the godforsaken in society. Such a simple
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Bob
Oct 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
The single best understanding of the crucifixion -- in my opinion.
Keith Lane
Apr 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book had the most impact on me, personally and theologically, of all the books I read in my courses in grad school. I'm reading it again to know it better. Incisive and eloquent.
Tony Jones
Sep 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The best christology of the twentieth century.
Aaron West
May 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Six months ago I set out to read this book after hearing some buzz about it among some theologically-minded friends and acquaintances of mine. It has taken six long months (in which some sabbaticals were taken) due simply to its density and my fickle impatience. It is certainly a scholarly read: many of the words and phrases Moltmann throws around with ease, and in expectation of understanding on the part of the reader, were lost on me. Italicized Latin phrases and theologian names were lurking ...more
Michael Kitay-Moore
Excellent book full of eloquent and profound insights and assertions. It was a bit dry and perhaps even pedantic at some points but that may partly be the translators fault... or perhaps it was my ability (or lack there of) to comprehend his arguments. If this is an area of interest for you I highly recommend it, if not it is a bit of a commitment due to it’s length so maybe not the best book to start with. If your looking for an interesting book that’s a shorter read I would recommend Greg Boyd ...more
Gloria
This is a book of theology. Sometimes, a very very deep book of theology. The subtitle is: The cross of Christ as the Foundation and Criticism of Christian Theology. There are references to "present day" and must be placed in the context of the date of publication: the 1970's.

How does the cross impact Christianity? What does it mean for those not Christians? These are not just questions that come from the book, but are simplified because the author is quite thorough in his analysis. The book is
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Stephen Joseph
Mar 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Moltmann has an incredible perspective on Theology and Christology, and as a post-war theologian, he really understands the obstructions and troubles that WWII brought to traditional theology, and his answers to some of the questions that these events pose is really quite stunning.

One of the the things that struck me about this book is Moltmann's redefinition of love. He shifts his perspective from thinking about love as a divinely-given ideal of happiness and joy to a more realistic understandi
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Nathan Marone
For a very long time I've been dissatisfied with lay understandings of soteriology and how they relate to the death of Christ. It's not that basic propositions like, "Jesus died to save me from my sin" are wrong, but that they have been inadequate in expressing the whole range of cosmic and theological possibilities in the crucifixion. It was with that mindset that I decided to read Moltmann's book. And while I'm not sure that he has given me a complete theology of the cross (partly because he w ...more
Theresa
Oct 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The theology Moltmann proposes, that the Trinity is revealed primarily in the crucified Christ, is the most startling theology I have read in a long time. What I liked about his claim is that it provides an ontological base for the suffering of God in love and an an explanation for the suffering in the world.

This claim must be seen in the perspective of an eschatological view, that is, a reading from the end to the beginning.
I liked that Moltmann demolished the theistic god (and so the atheisti
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E.
Feb 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Sickness in the household has given me the time to complete Moltmann's masterwork. This is a stunning theological achievement. While dense it is eloquent and passionate and engaging.

It was a more thoroughly comprehensive and systematic work than I expected -- the penultimate chapter on Freud and the final chapter on how the church should be engaged politically.

I found myself agreeing throughout, rather than being persuaded, as this is one of those books that was so influential that it re-shaped
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Andrew “The Weirdling” Glos
Without a doubt one of the single most important works in theology of the 20th Century. It is indispensable for anyone who claims they are well read on the subject. It is part of the sea change in the discipline of theology which occurred in the last century, where Christian thinking began to shift from "the problem of the non-believer" to "the problem of the non-human". Moltmann, utilizing both his theological perspective focused on the eschaton and a re-approrpiation of the intricacies of the ...more
Mauberley
This book forces readers to re-consider why a 'theology of the cross' is at the heart of Christian worship and thought. Moltmann looks at the Crucified God from many different angles: the historical, the eschatological, the Trinitarian, the psychological, and the political and he does not shy away from confronting the reader and provoking her engagement. This is not an easy book to read but with some basic theological understanding and a commitment by the reader to follow Moltmann's arguments, t ...more
Tim
May 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
After three years, I've finally finished this book. I've restarted it three or four times. The Crucified God is an amazing theological statement about the work of the cross of Jesus Christ and is a must read for serious theologians. The only critique I have is the occasional tendency of Moltmann to be repetitive , which is only frustrating due to the depth of the text. Moltmann is an amazing theologian and I am very glad I read what some have called his greatest work in, "The Crucified God."
Avril
Jun 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is one of the reasons I'm still a Christian. At a time when I was heading towards protest atheism, refusing to believe in a god in the face of the world's suffering, Moltmann gave me a theodicy I could accept. A wonderful book!
Richard Wright
Jul 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
Changed me. Love his books and his story. I read this book for a Soteriology course. Maybe the group discussion helped. As my professor said, just read the 6th chapter and save yourself some time. Don't hate on me if it was the 5th chapter!
Cole Brown
Filled with wonderful theological insights but much of the book is outdated (this is obviously not the author's fault). It is also an unnecessarily dry read, as theology -- especially the theology of the cross -- can read much differently.
Mitch Mallary
Jun 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Moltmann's favorite book he wrote has become my favorite book I've read. This book ought to be read annually by anyone who seeks to gaze upon the cross and discover its liberating implications.
Andrew
Apr 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm sometimes accused of reading theology books. And now, at last, with the reading of Moltmann (a real proper theological legend) I can claim to stand guilty as charged.

Also, the tiny text in the book meant that the reading glasses sold to me unnecessarily by Specsavers came in handy. I now call them my theology reading glasses... they look a bit like something Karl Barth might have worn.

There were other intellectual benefits too, beyond these two extraneous gifts... intellectual and faith-inf
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Jeremy Garber
In his first major book after Theology of Hope, Moltmann refutes the charge that his work is the hopelessly naïve product of a privileged European male. Instead, he provides a thorough theological construction of what Christian theology must look like if we begin from the reality of God in Jesus hanging on the cross. Moltmann refuses to romanticize or ignore the cross, forcing the believer to look at its pain and its horror straight on – and further on, to explore what it means that the God of t ...more
Austin Mathews
Jul 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Moltmann’s central idea, that of a suffering God on the cross of Christ, is astonishing and inherently powerful and liberating. Moltmann uses a plethora of methodologies, some which become convoluted, to explain how God could suffer, and why this thought and theology is not only philosophically, psychologically, biblically, and eschatologically viable, but necessary. The crucified Christ does away with all idols and superfluous religions to reveal the true, suffering, all-loving, vulnerable and ...more
Sooho Lee
Oct 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Crucified God is one of Jürgen Moltmann's earliest and, undoubtedly, most seminal works. In classic Moltmannian fashion, the theology of The Crucified God is done "on the way." It would be a misnomer to classify this treatise, or any Moltmann's works, as "systematic" theology. If anything, it is more "constructive." So, Moltmann constructs "on the way," and -- in his case -- on the way from POW camps. 

Moltmann's POW experience cannot be overstated in importance and inception for his theology
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Cameron Coombe
Review of the 2015 edition. It was a bit disappointing to see this on the market. Yes, it is great that a theological classic is still being read and gathering interest in a new generation (my own). But this is certainly not helpful for students as the pagination differs from the previous edition and 95+% of the secondary literature in English refers to page numbers in the 1974 translation (and subsequent reprints)--the other ~5% citing the German. Moreover, the translation, which is a little da ...more
Jonny
Mar 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A masterpiece, truly. Moltmann is a once-in-a-generation theologian, and among the foremost in the 20th Century. He develops an entirely new Christology, as well as a view of the Trinity, in addition to a hopeful eschatology, and also ending with a political and psychology hermeneutic. He vision for a Crucified God is one that embraces suffering and shame, and who dies for us, so that he can rise before us. He is critical and incisive, but never biting or smug. He is humble and accurate in his p ...more
Jon
Feb 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Well written and an enjoyable read like most of Moltmann’s stuff. But I was disappointed to see him move so far from classical theology. His view of God through the cross is as radical as Kant’s revolution. I do appreciate Moltmann, but this book disappointed me after enjoy Theology of Hope so much.
Tristan Sherwin
May 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Certainly not an easy read, and it has it peaks and troughs. But wow, the theological views from those peaks, and the challenges they bring, are breathtaking and worth the journey.

Moltmann’s text is a must-read for anyone wanting to contemplate the event and the ramifications of the cross of Christ.
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Jürgen Moltmann is a German Reformed theologian. He is the 2000 recipient of the Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion.

Moltmann's Theology of Hope is a theological perspective with an eschatological foundation and focuses on the hope that the resurrection brings. Through faith we are bound to Christ, and as such have the hope of the resurrected Christ ("Praise be to the God and Father of our Lor
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“When God becomes man in Jesus of Nazareth, he not only enters into the finitude of man, but in his death on the cross also enters into the situation of man's godforsakenness. In Jesus he does not die the natural death of a finite being, but the violent death of the criminal on the cross, the death of complete abandonment by God. The suffering in the passion of Jesus is abandonment, rejection by God, his Father. God does not become a religion, so that man participates in him by corresponding religious thoughts and feelings. God does not become a law, so that man participates in him through obedience to a law. God does not become an ideal, so that man achieves community with him through constant striving. He humbles himself and takes upon himself the eternal death of the godless and the godforsaken, so that all the godless and the godforsaken can experience communion with him.” 32 likes
“The knowledge of the cross brings a conflict of interest between God who has become man and man who wishes to become God.” 23 likes
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