Augsburg Fortress

Saving Jesus from Those Who Are Right: Rethinking What It Means to Be Christian

Saving Jesus from Those Who Are Right: Rethinking What It Means to Be Christian

In this theological resource for spiritual transformation and social change, Carter Heyward rethinks the figure and import of Jesus for church, academy, and society.

Rather than focus on the endlessly variable pictures of Jesus in contemporary biblical scholarship, and in radical opposition to the Jesus of the "Christian Right," Heyward presents "Jesus as our brother, infused with a sacred power and passion for embodying right (mutual) relation, and ourselves with him in this commitment." She goes on to "explore, concretely, how we might live this way."

Wonderfully clear-sighted, this brief, faithful, and intelligent Christology offers reconstructions of incarnation, atonement, evil, suffering, and fear. It also sheds light on the significance of Jesus for ecological, racial, economic, and gender justice. Heyward's book envisions "a mighty counter-cultural force," which she names christic power, that can help save American culture from its greed and domination and save the figure of Jesus from culture-generated distortions. In short, Heyward's book will help people come to terms with the life-changing implications of Jesus' person and ethic.

To a generation in search of the transforming potential of Christian commitment, Heyward's most important work offers both spiritual depth and unwavering commitment to the human good.

A study guide to this book is available here on Click on the tab "Letter from the Author."
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  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9780800629663
  • Dimensions 5.5 x 8.5
  • Pages 296
  • Publication Date October 11, 1999


"Carter Heyward gathers the elements of her transformative reflection and action under the wings of this compassionate, courageous christology. Distinguishing 'being right' from 'right relation,' she brings to this new reformation a teachable, preachable Jesus, far-flung and intimate, one as much needed as awaited. What a great gift to progressive Christianity, for which she has long been such an influential force."
— Catherine E. Keller, School of Theology, Drew University

"Instead of entering into debate with the so-called 'Right' on the basis of their interpretations of Jesus, Carter Heyward calls forth rich and deeply compelling images of Jesus, of the Sacred Power, and of diverse ways of experiencing mutuality. By showing us the power of life as being-in-communion with all of creation, her book calls us away from comforting religiosity and challenges us to live boldly and passionately, as did Jesus. This passionate living will lead us to be totally present in our world, as we struggle for justice and equality for all."
— Elias Farajajé-Jones, Starr King School for the Ministry