The Nonviolent Atonement

The Nonviolent Atonement

The Nonviolent Atonement

The Nonviolent Atonement

Excerpt

Sharp debates about the death of Jesus sparked by feminist and womanist theologians are the current cutting edge of discussions about Christology and atonement — what classic language calls the person and work of Christ — that have churned throughout the twentieth century. The century ended as it began — with searches for the historical Jesus. Along the way, this century featured frequently pointed debates on atonement, carried on under a variety of nomenclatures, between adherents and theological descendants of medieval theologians Anselm of Canterbury (c. 10331109) and Abelard (1079–1142). In fact, except perhaps for the sixteenthcentury debates about the characteristics of Christ with respect to his presence within and outside of the sacrament, the twentieth century may well have experienced the most important, sustained conversation about the person and work of Christ since early church debates eventuated in the fourth- and fifth-century formulas from Nicea and Chalcedon, which became the benchmark of christological thought since that time. Thus in spite of the new feeling to the discussion brought by women's voices and perspectives, this book on atonement is not about a new debate. On the contrary, it joins a very long-running conversation. At the same time, it makes a bold claim as it joins the conversation, namely that it brings some new arguments to the long discussion and charts a new route through much explored territory. Specifically, it charts a path of nonviolent atonement through territory strewn with images and assumptions of violence.

Although the roots of modern atonement arguments always pass . . .

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