The cross is a symbol of suffering, injustice, loss and death, and yet, also a symbol of the hidden power of God to save, liberate and transform human life. Following the spiritual theology of Paul and the narrative of the gospels, the cross is not only a theological symbol but a path, a way - a critical and necessary element of the spiritual journey which requires a dying in order to experience resurrection life. In this course, we will explore this way of understanding the cross as it is develops in Paul, Augustine and Medieval Spirituality. We will then focus on Luther’s ‘Theology of the Cross’ as it develops out of this theological and spiritual way. We will then study Calvin’s doctrine of the Christian life in Book 3 of his Institutes and how it incorporates elements of Luther’s thought. We will then explore the Reformed tradition and how theology and spirituality meet each other, how they emerge in Schleiermacher and Barth, and a final section on 20th century theological and spiritual exemplars of this tradition outside the mainstream.
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