Carter Heyward is the Howard Chandler Robbins Professor of Theology at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her seven books explore issues of power, sexuality, and social and gender justice in relation to salvation. Heyward sees this volume as "a theological resource for spiritual transformation and social change." It offers alternate images to the authoritarian, moralistic, adversarial, and obedient Jesus of the Right. By "those who are right" she means "all persons whose socio-political commitments are hardened fast and whose psychospiritual dispositions are tightly boundaried."
Heyward eschews the "Christ" language that far too often has been used to extend Christian imperialism, exclusivity, and domination. She emphasizes Jesus as a brother, a teacher, a healer, and an advocate whose right relationship with God is a model for us all. She then discusses evil as a betrayal of mutuality.
Jesus' passion was his solidarity with the poor, the outcast, and the marginalized. That is why his name can no longer be "wielded as a weapon against women, children, racial/tribal minorities, poor people, Jews and participants in other faith-traditions, queer folk, people with disabilities, and the earth itself." The spirit of Jesus is present wherever justice and compassion are practiced. Heyward concludes: "Learning forgiveness and teaching nonviolence should become a vocation and mission of the church and other religious organizations and movements. This is the only way any religion can truly be 'a light to the nations.'