The concept of the atonement is one of the defining doctrine of Christianity. Over the course of many centuries, theologians, church forefathers, philosophers and more have proposed a huge expanse of interpretations of Christ's sacrifice for humanity, each different to the next. In this ambitious study, Eleonore Stump uses the context of this history of interpretation to reconsider the doctrine afresh with philosophical care.

Whatever exactly the atonement is, it is supposed to include a solution to the problems of the human condition, especially its guilt and shame. Stump canvasses the major interpretations of the doctrine, highlighting their shortcomings as an explanation for this solution. In their place, she argues for an interpretation that is both novel whilst still using traditional theology, including Anselm's well-known account of the doctrine. Atonement is a rich exploration of the doctrine and all that it covers: love, union, guilt, shame, forgiveness, retribution, punishment, shared attention, mind-reading, empathy, and various other issues in moral psychology and ethics.

Publication Date: 
January 29, 2019