Chapter

Stump on the Nature of Atonement

E. J. Coffman

in Reason, Metaphysics, and Mind

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199766864
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932184 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199766864.003.0013
Stump on the Nature of Atonement

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In “The Nature of the Atonement,” Eleonore Stump explores the problem of human sin that the atonement is meant to solve, helpfully uncovering important adequacy conditions for theories of atonement. She then uses those conditions to critically evaluate Anselmian and Thomistic theories of atonement, arguing that the Thomist has a leg up on the Anselmian when it comes to the atonement-motivating problem of human sin. This paper argues for two claims. First, Stump’s two seemingly independent further problems for theorists of atonement in fact reduce to a single challenge, which suggests a strategy for future theorizing about the atonement. Second, Stump’s own account of shame implies that the Anselmian’ difficulties on this front are less serious than she suggests. Her case that the Thomist outperforms the Anselmian on the problem of human sin is thus weaker than it initially appears.

Keywords: atonement; sin; shame; guilt; Anselm; Aquinas

Chapter.  3195 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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