"Elizabeth Johnson is by far my favorite contemporary Catholic theologian. In her superb new book, which takes the form of a lively dialogue, she addresses the essential issues of sin, forgiveness and redemption. She does so in her trademark style: with vast learning, sparkling clarity, and breathtaking insights. A signal contribution to modern theology."
--James Martin, SJ,
author, Jesus: A Pilgrimage "Elizabeth Johnson, as so often she does, names and explains a major obstacle in the presentation of the Gospel message. Here I am happy to say, she unpackages what my own Franciscan school (Francis, Bonaventure, Duns Scotus) believed about the atonement and the salvific meaning of the death of Jesus. It was not a juridical transaction but a cosmic revelation."
--Fr. Richard Rohr, O.F.M.,
Center for Action and Contemplation"To venture new understandings of faith yet to remain deeply rooted in the soil of tradition is signature Elizabeth Johnson. She invites us to consider, what might cosmic redemption mean in our own time? This book delights and agitates. Taking a cue from Anselm's Cur Deus Homo, Johnson imagines a spirited conversation between herself and one of her inquiring, bright students. This book is that conversation. What a journey through Anselm's most celebrated work and then on to a consideration of how the cross might be understood today, particularly in light of the whole natural world. Here again she offers us a theological feast."
In this fresh creative approach to theology, Elizabeth Johnson asks how we can understand cosmic redemption in a time of advancing ecological devastation. In effect, how can we extend the core Christian belief in salvation to include all created beings. Immediately this quest runs into a formidable obstacle: the idea that Jesus’ death on the cross was required as an atonement for human sin—a theology laid out by the eleventh-century theologian Anselm. Constructing her argument (like Anselm) in the form of a dialogue, Johnson lays out the foundations in scripture, the teachings of Jesus, and the early Church for an understanding that emphasizes the love and mercy of God, showing how this approach could help us respond to a planet in peril.