Many books on the Christian doctrine of atonement have been published in recent years. Some point out the difficulties of traditional atonement theories; others attempt a revision of one of the classical three types; others attempt to combine aspects of these types. Jennings attempts something new: by approaching the question of the meaning of the cross through close attention to the biblical passages that serve as the basis of any reflection on the cross of Jesus and an engagement with patristic as well as contemporary discussion. The result is an alternative theology of the cross that grounds the message concerning the cross in the socio-political reality in which it was historically located and points to the way in which this message bears upon contemporary social and ecclesial reality. Jennings's truly fresh understanding for Christians of the meaning of Jesus' death specifically grounds the cross in the concrete political confrontation within which it occurred, relates the message about the cross to the practice of Jesus (thus keeping in relationship the gospels and the theology of Paul), and shows how the cross bears on overcoming of human division and sin, reconciliation to God, and new forms of social reality in the community of the crucified.