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Title: In search of a nonviolent atonement theory : a comparison of the views of René Girard and Karl Barth on the death of Jesus
Author: Im, SeongMo
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
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The point of departure for my dissertation is my agreement with the criticism that the penal substitutionary view of the death of Jesus, which is currently regarded as the predominant atonement theory in Roman Catholic and Protestant churches, legitimates and sanctifies violence. Bearing in mind this critical concern about the violent elements entrenched in the penal substitutionary atonement theory, I attempt to find nonviolent alternatives in the views of Rene Girard and Karl Barth of the death of Jesus. While rejecting the Anselmian satisfaction model and propitiatory view of the death of Jesus on the cross, Girard and Barth both draw their atonement theories from the Christus Vict/or model, which is considered to be free from violent elements. However, they have different hermeneutical windows through which they construct their own Christus Victor atonement theories. Whereas Girard's view of Christus Victor has an Abelardian tone emphasizing the disciple's awakening or enlightenment, Barth's perspective shows the impact of the Calvinistic judicial framework. Nonetheless, in my view both wisely avoid the violent elements enshrined in the Abelardian and Anselmian/Calvinistic models. In my dissertation, I first examine the frameworks of the nonviolent atonement theories Of Girard and Barth: mimesis theory and trinitarianism, respectively. Secondly, I explore how they relate their nonviolent atonement theories to the nonviolent/peaceful Christian life. However, while I am appreciative of the virtues of their nonviolent atonement theories, I wil1 offer a critique of their theories from the perspective of nonviolence and social victims. One of the focal points of my criticism will be the belittling or dismissing of other religions embedded within their theories. Finally I will propose a third approach in which the strong points of Girard and Barth are combined
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available