The Paradox of Christian Sacrifice

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The Paradox of Christian Sacrifice

The Loss of Self, the Gift of Self

Biviano unveils a new vision of authentic sacrifice and shows it to be a means of self-giving that is an emulation of God's creativity, distinct from oppressive, societal tendencies. A hopeful, feminist, Christian discussion of faithful devotion of oneself to others.

Sacrifice is at the heart of Christian wisdom about love. Jesus’s teaching that one must “lose one’s life to save it” reveals a paradoxical relationship between self-sacrifice and self-realization. The invitation to imitate Jesus Christ, and to give of oneself to others, inspires great acts of love. Yet the veneration of sacrifice for its own sake can perpetuate painful experiences that are no longer life-giving.

Faced with such ambiguities, and struggling to discern the boundaries of giving, Christians will welcome this new interpretation of the meaning of sacrifice.

Reviews and endorsements

“This excellent, thought-provoking work acknowledges the importance of feminist criticisms of self-sacrifice and, drawing upon the work of Edward Schillebeeckx and Paul Ricoeur, explores healthy ways in which this central Christian ideal can be understood. An important contribution to constructive theology.”
Leo D. Lefebure, Matteo Ricci Chair, Georgetown University


“The first book on Christian sacrifice that not only faces up to its negative distortions and confusing complexity, but also begins to do justice to it as a profoundly positive and fulfilling personal experience. A must-read.”
Robert J. Daly, S.J., professor emeritus of theology, Boston College

Paperback / 304 pages
Dimensions: 6 x 9 1/4