These essays represent ten years of reflection upon the work of Christ and the operation of redemption. They also represent ten years of ongoing conversation with friends, students, colleagues and opponents. Drafts of some of them appeared in journals (particularly Literature and Theology and Modern Theology) or edited collections, such as Paul Heelas, Religion, Modernity and Postmodernity (Oxford: Blackwell, 1998) and Robert Gibbs and Elliot Wolf-son, Suffering Religion (London: Routledge, 2002); the others were given as papers at conferences or colloquiums and have remained unpublished. Many people have been involved in commenting upon them, referring me to material I did not know, and pointing out inadequacies. I owe a debt of gratitude to all of these people, and I have learnt so much from others. I particularly wish to thank Marcella Althaus-Reid, Page du Bois, Michael Hoelzl, David Jasper, Todd Klutz, Gerard Loughlin, Walter Lowe, John Milbank, Dale Martin, Stephen Moore, Peter Oakes, Catherine Pickstock, and all those who belong to the Thursday night Krobar group, without whom life would be a lot less fun and intellectually challenging. Mention must also be made of my copy-editor, David Williams, at The Running Head, who saved me a great deal of embarrassment in his meticulous handling of the final draft. I dedicate this book to Rowan Williams, whose trust I have valued.
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