Cross-Shattered Christ

Meditations on the Seven Last Words

Cover Art Request Exam Copy

Where to Purchase

More Options


In Cross-Shattered Christ, theologian Stanley Hauerwas offers a moving reflection on Jesus's final words from the cross. This small and powerful volume is theologically poignant and steeped in humility. Hauerwas's pithy discussion opens our ears to the language of Scripture while opening our hearts to a truer vision of God. Touching in original and surprising ways on subjects such as praying the Psalms and our need to be remembered by Jesus, Hauerwas emphasizes Christ's humanity as well as the sheer "differentness" of God.

Ideal for personal devotion during Lent and throughout the year, Cross-Shattered Christ offers a transformative reading of Jesus's words that goes directly to the heart of the gospel. Now in paperback.
1. The First Word
2. The Second Word
3. The Third Word
4. The Fourth Word
5. The Fifth Word
6. The Sixth Word
7. The Seventh Word
On Creating the Artwork for This Book

The Author

  1. Stanley Hauerwas

    Stanley Hauerwas

    Stanley Hauerwas (PhD, Yale University) professor emeritus of divinity and law at Duke Divinity School. He is the author of over forty books, including Cross-Shattered Christ, A Cross-Shattered Church, War and the American Difference, and...

    Continue reading about Stanley Hauerwas


"Hauerwas strips down the seven last sayings of Jesus to their barest essence, refusing to psychologize or proffer easy explanations for hard truths. For the third saying ('Woman, behold thy son!'), he points out that the Jesus of the New Testament was nothing if not anti-family, and then launches into an utterly fascinating argument that Mary, the mother of Jesus, is presented as the 'new Abraham' throughout the Gospels and the Book of Hebrews. Many readers will find it refreshing to see a Protestant theologian recognize Mary's unique role in salvation and in the church. One note of caution: although these essays are short and the entire book clocks in at right around a hundred pages, even serious readers will find that this is not a collection to be consumed in a single sitting. It would make excellent devotional reading for all of Holy Week, using each reflection for a full day's rumination."--Publishers Weekly

"Much-respected theologian Hauerwas . . . has written a brief but intensely observed discussion of the theological issues that subtend the last utterances of Jesus on the cross. Hauerwas's theology and approach belong squarely in the mainstream tradition of Christian theology about Christ and redemption; many readers will gain profound insight from his deftly phrased, swiftly moving observations. Highly recommended."--Graham Christian, Library Journal

"A close and moving reading of each of Christ's last sayings from the cross. . . . Don't miss this opportunity to reflect further upon the last words of our Lord and Savior."

"Hauerwas rightly reckons that you cannot understand the birth of Jesus without wrestling with his death."--Stephen Prothero, Wall Street Journal

"Stanley Hauerwas is (and has always been) a writer on his own terms, and a very good one. In Cross-Shattered Christ. . . . Hauerwas departs from the style of some of his other work and writes to show the connections in his own life. . . . Hauerwas' meditations on the seven last words of Christ are unadorned and unsparing examinations of sayings that we are at once drawn to, yet fear. An earnest grappling replaces the usual fare of the often witty verbal combat that characterizes so much of Hauerwas the 'lover,' lover of his friends and family, the church, and God. It is a rare and wonderful treat that he has allowed us to listen in as this passionate man speaks passionately about the connections he has made."--Carole Bailey Stoneking, Faith Today

"Packed with good theology. . . . I read Hauerwas's book slowly and, in the process, discovered a number of new ways of thinking about the Passion narratives. This book would make good reading during the Lenten season or a nice companion text for a retreat. An added advantage is handsome woodcuts by Rick Beerhorst, which aid the reader in experiencing what St. Ignatius calls in the Exercises, 'composition of place.'"--Lawrence S. Cunningham, Commonweal

"This slim volume provides some strong and salutary reading for the Lenten season. Famed theologian and writer Stanley Hauerwas takes up a time-honored and beautiful tradition of reflecting on the seven last words of Jesus in his Passion. Each of these meditations . . . deals powerfully with these evocative biblical texts and their implications for Christian life today."--Donald Senior, C.P., Bible Today

"Here is a little book by one of our best theologians that makes for ideal reading at Lent. You could read it with great profit for personal meditations or in a church class."--Daniel B. Clendenin,

"These are real sermons preached in one of those three-hour Good Friday services and is one of the more interesting ones I've ever read. . . . There are stunning wood-block prints by the amazing Rick Beerhorst before each sermon in this handsome, hand-sized [volume] and these are worth the price of the book themselves."--Byron Borger,

"[Offers] substantial theological reflection on the Last Words. . . . The meditations are evocatively amplified by wood block line drawings by Rick Beerhorst. . . . [Hauerwas] writes with deep reverence and tries to overcome the sentimentality that we too often encounter on Good Friday. Hauerwas strives to keep the focus off of us and on the work of the Triune God. . . . The book captures an essential aspect of Good Friday: the otherness of God as revealed in that perplexing, mysterious event. Hauerwas wrestles with uncertainty in the best tradition of biblical lament. This is a book work reading and re-reading, at least once every year."--Arthur Boers, Christian Reflection