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Atonement

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Andrew T.
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  1. Introduction to Atonement theology
  2. Cone and Williams argument over what redemptive value, if any, is in surrogate suffering
  3. Heim vs. Williams
  4. Kwok Pui-lan's take on Jesus' role

What happened on the cross? When Jesus suffered and died, what happened? Atonement theology often claims that the death was a sacrifice for the sins of the world. This statement becomes nuanced in contemporary theologies because surrogate suffering was used to oppress others, salvific violence has been used to justify the dehumanization of marginalized people and the cross itself was a symbol of colonialization. These contemporary theologians speak to the cross and the event of Christ's death with these critiques of traditional atonement theology and explore what salvation exists in the narratives of and about Jesus.

[...] Heim is speaking to his audience of privilege to make them aware of their own sins of scapegoating and convince them to stop their sinful actions of forcing surrogate suffering. Kwok Pui-lan speaks of Jesus' role differently. She puts forward a strong challenge to the symbol of the cross, is it possible for the formerly colonized, oppressed, subjugated subaltern to transform the symbol of Christ a symbol that has been used to justify colonization and domination into a symbol that affirms life, dignity and freedom??[6] This question speaks to her context. [...]


[...] This is where Williams shows her aim. She claims that Jesus came for a ministry of life, and that the example of his ministry as an example to be followed is redemption. It is not the death that gives salvation, it is not the suffering which gives salvation, it is the life and ministry where Jesus was able to find meaning and give meaning to others which gives salvation. Jesus conquered the temptation of sin in the wilderness, beating sin while he still was alive. [...]

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