Augsburg Fortress

Crossing the Divide: Luther, Feminism, and the Cross

Crossing the Divide: Luther, Feminism, and the Cross

Over the last two decades, traditional formulations of the idea of atonement have come under heavy attack from feminist theologians and others. They argue that the traditional view valorizes suffering and encourages people to acquiesce in needless self-sacrificing, that it is unseemly to think of God as demanding suffering of his son, and that the theology of the cross needs to be rethought in light of the whole life, ministry, and resurrection of Jesus.

Equally committed to the insights of the theology of the cross and feminist theology, Deanna Thompson takes up these contentious issues here in a creative and nuanced way. Her work emerges from direct engagement with Martin Luther and the Heidelberg Disputation as well as with the architects of reformist feminism. She finds surprising common ground on issues of suffering, abuse, atonement, reform, ethics, and the import of Jesus, and her book culminates in a constructive and promising feminist theology of the cross.
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  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9780800636388
  • Dimensions 5.5 x 8.5
  • Pages 200
  • Publication Date May 12, 2004


"Combining the best of Luther scholoarship with engaged folksy wisdom, Deanna Thompson takes us to the heart of Martin Luther's theology — the cross — where we discover, surprisingly, a savior who speaks powerfully to women today. Crafted by a theologian whose sharpness of mind is matched by the eloquence of her pen, the effect is stunning"
— Serene Jones, Yale Divinity School

"Deanna Thompson's book is a valuable contribution to the growing literature of dialogue between Luther's theologia crucis and Christian feminism. Though entirely sympathetic with feminist critiques of much cross-centered theology and piety, the author feels that feminists can find in the Luther who opposes all triumphalist religion an unexpected ally."
— Douglas John Hall, C.M., Emeritus, McGill University, Montreal