Communal Substitutionary Atonement

Authors

  • Joshua Thurow The University of Texas at San Antonio

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.12978/jat.2015-3.0914-65190722a

Abstract

In this paper I develop and defend a new theory of the Atonement - the Communal Substitution Theory.  According to the Communal Substitution Theory, by dying on the cross Jesus either takes on the punishment for, or offers satisfaction for, the sins of the human community.  Individual humans have sinned, but human communities have sinned as well.  Jesus dies for the communal sins.  As a result, human communities are forgiven and reconciled to God, and through the event of communal forgiveness, individual human sins can be forgiven as well.  Moving the focal point of atonement to communal sins has various advantages: well-known objections to satisfaction and penal theories are avoided, and many of the advantages of other theories of the atonement are organically integrated into the communal substitution theory.

Author Biography

Joshua Thurow, The University of Texas at San Antonio

I am an Assistant Professor of Philosophy specializing in epistemology, metaphysics, and philosophy of religion.

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Published

2015-05-04

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Section

Articles