A provocative study that cuts to the very heart of Christian thought, The Nonviolent Atonement challenges the traditional, Anselmian understanding of atonement—along with the assumption that heavenly justice depends on Christ’s passive, innocent submission to violent death at the hands of a cruel God. Instead J. Denny Weaver offers a thoroughly nonviolent paradigm for understanding atonement, grounded in the New Testament and sensitive to the concerns of pacifist, black, feminist, and womanist theology.
While many scholars have engaged the subject of violence in atonement theology, Weaver’s Nonviolent Atonement is the only book that offers a radically new theory rather than simply refurbishing existing theories. Key features of this revised and updated second edition include new material on Paul and Anselm, expanded discussion on the development of violence in theology, interaction with recent scholarship on atonement, and response to criticisms of Weaver's original work.
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Weaver provides an important contribution to atonement theories by seriously inserting the contemporary concerns of pacifist, feminist, womanist, and black theologians into the centuries-old christological conversation. . . A provocative but faithful proposal benefiting any student of christology.
—Religious Studies Review
A noteworthy contribution to the literature on the atonement. Weaver provides a useful critique of the history of atonement motifs; he does a fine job of placing Anselm's theology in its historical context; he creatively fuses a singular biblical vision from the earthly narrative of the Gospels and the cosmic perspective of the Apocalypse; and he attempts to relate discussions of the atonement to Christian social ethics.
This is a superb succinct survey and analysis of classical and contemporary theories of the atonement, ideal for students and general readers. . . A clearly written, passionately expressed introduction to current debates on the atonement. . . Excellent resource.
—Reviews in Religion and Theology
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