29 May 2006

Elizaphanian: Notes on atonement

I'm still looking for material on peace and reconciliation from a theological point of view, but keep getting sidetracked into other things, like the theology of the atonement. I've blogged them for future reference.

I broadly agree with what is said in this post

Elizaphanian: Notes on atonement

and my view has been that one of the most significant obstacles to the healing of the East-Wast schism of the 11th century was the publication of Anselm of Canterbury's Cur Deus homo? shortly after the schism occurred. This spread rapidly through the West, but because of the schism, had little influence in the East. But because it was not one of the issues that led to the schism, it wasn't on the agenda for meetings to try to heal the breach, but it just meant that the basic assumptions of both sides drifted further apart as time went by.

But then I found this in another blog on Rereading Anselm on the atonement, which says, among other things:

While recent theologians such as John Milbank and Hans Boersma have defended aspects of Anselm's atonement theology, one of the most interesting recoveries of Anselm's thought is that of Orthodox theologian David Bentley Hart in his essay "A Gift Exceeding Every Debt: An Eastern Orthodox Appreciation of Anselm's Cur Deus Homo," (in Pro Ecclesia, Vol. VII, No. 3, pp. 333-348).

Hart argues that there is a real continuity between the thought of the church Fathers, including the Eastern Fathers, and the thought of Anselm, so that his Cur Deus Homo does not fix any definitive breach between the theological outlooks of East and West. Rather, Hart suggests, the change marked by Anselm is merely one of "accent."

I'll definitely have to see if I can find that reference in the library!

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1 comment:

Sam Charles Norton said...

Have you explored James Alison/ Rene Girard? If not, that might be of interest. Thanks for the link.


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