Conclusion: The Healing of the Soul

Charles K. Bellinger

in The Genealogy of Violence

Published in print May 2001 | ISBN: 9780195134988
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833986 | DOI:
Conclusion: The Healing of the Soul

Show Summary Details


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

Chapter.  5439 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.