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The Father's WillChrist's Crucifixion and the Goodness of God$
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Nicholas E. Lombardo

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199688586

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199688586.001.0001

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Abelard’s Response to Anselm

Abelard’s Response to Anselm

(p.168) 9 Abelard’s Response to Anselm
The Father's Will

Nicholas E. Lombardo

Oxford University Press

Although Peter Abelard does not cite Cur Deus homo, he formulates his theory of redemption in direct response to Anselm. According to the standard typology, Anselm and Abelard represent two diametrically opposed interpretations of the crucifixion: Anselm proposes an objectivist theory, in which the crucifixion is primarily about making satisfaction for sin and repaying a debt, while Abelard proposes a subjectivist theory, in which the crucifixion is primarily about revealing God’s love and inspiring charity. This chapter argues that, for all the contrast between their theories, their theories of redemption share profound structural similarities—and like Anselm, Abelard falls short. This chapter evaluates Abelard’s theological interpretation of the crucifixion, focusing on his Commentary on Romans. It concludes that Abelard avoids implying that God wills moral evil, but cannot give a plausible account of the crucifixion’s necessity.

Keywords:   peter abelard, god, will, christ, crucifixion, redemption, evil, necessity, anselm, charity

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