- List of Contributors
- The Self and the Good Life
- Nationalism and Patriotism
- The Making of the Modern Metropolis
- The Other
- Freedom and Human Emancipation
- Work and Labour
- Suffering In Theology and Modern European Thought
- Nihilism and Theology: Who Stands at the Door?
- War and Peace
- Radical Philosophy and Political Theology
- Beauty and Sublimity
- Time and History
- The Metaphysics of Modernity
- The Bible
- Divine Providence
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter discusses three developments in European that had a profound effect on the Christian concept of atonement, the first of which is the enormous impact of the Enlightenment, in particular the so-called ‘anthropocentric turn’. This turn included a new confidence in the powers of human reasoning, unaided by revelation or traditional theological confessions, to discern the nature of God and the universe. The second development is that of a series of powerful reductive critiques of religion, including of atonement. The third has been closely linked with the first: sustained critiques of substitution and satisfaction-based models of the atonement (including retributive, sacrificial, and forensic models). The concluding section offers a brief overview of trends in constructive accounts of the atonement from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including classic accounts by Schleiermacher and Barth, and the non-satisfaction-oriented alternatives that have been rehabilitated in light of the larger developments.
Simeon Zahl is Junior Research Fellow in Theology at St John’s College, University of Oxford. He is the author of Pneumatology and Theology of the Cross in the Preaching of Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt (2010).
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