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Christus Victor: An Historical Study of the Three Main Types of the Idea of Atonement

ISBN: 9781592443307


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Gustaf Aulen’s classic work, Christus Victor, has long been a standard text on the atonement. Aulen applies a “history of ideas” methodology to historical theology in tracing the development of three views of the atonement. Aulen asserts that in traditional histories of the doctrine of the atonement only two views have usually been presented, the objective/Anselmian and the subjective/Aberlardian views. According to Aulen, however, there is another type of atonement doctrine in which Christ overcomes the hostile powers that hold humanity in subjection, at the same time that God in Christ reconciles the world to Himself. This view he calls the “classic” concept of the atonement. Because of its predominance in the New Testament, in patristic writings, and in the theology of Luther, Aulen holds that the classic type may be called the distinctively Christian idea of the atonement.

Dig deeper into Lutheran thought with Andrew George Voigt’s Biblical Dogmatics.

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Key Features

  • Provides historical-critical analyses of Christianity’s primary atonement theories
  • Examines the contextual factors that led to the development of various theories
  • Argues stronly in favor of the “classic” theory of Christ’s atonement


  • The Problem and Its Answers
  • Irenaeus
  • The Fathers in East and West
  • The New Testament
  • The Middle Ages
  • Luther
  • Since the Reformation
  • The Three Types

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Gustaf Aulen (1879–1977) was a distinguished Swedish theologian, Lutheran bishop, educator, lecturer, writer, and leader of the ecumenical movement. A leader of the Lundsian School of Theology, Aulen gained popularity for his immensley influential work Christus Victor: An Historical Study of the Three Main Types of the Idea of Atonement, a historical examination of the doctrine of atonement.

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2 ratings


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  1. Sean



    Few people have the privilege of coining a theological term, but Aulén did; the study of the work of Christ has not been the same ever since. The book can and should revolutionize how you think about what Jesus did on the cross. Most highly recommended.

  2. David



    Great read. However, you have incorrectly named the translator as A. G. Herbert. It is A. G. Hebert. A subtle difference and one the brain can easily get confused on, as the name Herbert is well-known, but Hebert is practically unknown. This will be confirmed simply by looking at the actual name of the translator on the inside of the book. Don't worry Wipf & Stock and SPCK have both made the same error on Amazon and their own websites...


Digital list price: $21.99
Save $4.00 (18%)