Richard Swinburne

in Responsibility and Atonement

Published in print June 1989 | ISBN: 9780198248491
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598555 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks


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Each human owes atonement to God for his own sins, and owes it to his fellow humans to help them to make atonement to God for their sins. Only an individual sinner can repent and make apology, but others can provide him with the means to make reparation (and penance) (the two other parts of atonement). Jesus Christ, who, being God, owed nothing to God, provided his life and death as something that we can offer to God as our reparation (and penance) for our own sins and those of our fellows. This model of atonement, tantamount to the ‘satisfaction’ model of Anselm (as qualified by Aquinas) and the to the biblical model of ‘sacrifice’, is the most satisfactory of the traditional theological models of the Atonement.

Keywords: Anselm; Aquinas; Atonement; Jesus Christ; God; sacrifice; the Atonement

Chapter.  7305 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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