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Sandra Visser and Thomas Williams

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195309386

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195309386.001.0001

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Incarnation and Atonement

Incarnation and Atonement

(p.212) (p.213) 13 Incarnation and Atonement

Sandra Visser

Thomas Williams

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines Anselm's argument for the claim that the death of a God-man was the only possible remedy for human injustice and that God had to offer such a remedy. The first section shows how Anselm sets up his argument by posing, on behalf of the unbeliever, the objection that the Christian account of redemption portrays God as acting in an irrational or unjustified way. The second section offers an account of the role of such considerations of “fitness” in Cur Deus Homo. The third section turns to the argument that Anselm regarded as a suitable answer to the unbeliever's objection: the argument that the death of a God-man is necessary to effect reconciliation between God and human beings. The fourth section considers Anselm's discussion of the metaphysical issues raised by Chalcedonian Christology.

Keywords:   Incarnation, Atonement, Brian Leftow, Cur Deus Homo, Chalcedonian Christology, redemption

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