At the very heart of Christian doctrine and late medieval practice was the image of the crucified Christ. Sarah Beckwith examines the social meaning of this image across a range of key devotional English texts, using insights from anthropology and cultural studies. The image of the crucified Christ, she argues, acted as a place where the tensions between the sacred and the profane, the individual and the collective, were played out. The medieval obsession with the contours of Christ's body functioned to challenge and transform social and political relations. A fascinating and challenging book of interest not only to students of medieval literature, but also to cultural historians and women's studies specialists.