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The Genealogy of ViolenceReflections on Creation, Freedom, and Evil$
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Charles K. Bellinger

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195134988

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195134982.001.0001

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Conclusion: The Healing of the Soul

Conclusion: The Healing of the Soul

(p.134) 9 Conclusion: The Healing of the Soul
The Genealogy of Violence

Charles K. Bellinger (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Four major theories of Atonement in the Christian tradition are summarized: the Orthodox ransom theory, Anselm's satisfaction theory, Calvin's penal substitution theory, and Abelard's subjective theory. Perspectives on Atonement found in Soren Kierkegaard, Karl Barth, Rene Girard, and Robert Jenson are also presented. It is argued that a medical metaphor (Christ as the Healer who submits to the violence of his patients) is more helpful than a legal metaphor. The incarnation is God the Father's action in sending the Son on a medical mission for the healing of humanity, and the crucifixion and resurrection complete the mission. We can always hope that human beings will use their freedom to accept divine healing rather than to reject it, thus growing toward a more peaceful future.

Keywords:   Abelard, Anselm, Atonement theories, Barth, Calvin, Christ the Healer, freedom, Girard, Jenson, Kierkegaard

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