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Atonement

Atonement

Judaism

(Heb., kapparah). Reconciliation with God. According to Jewish belief, human sin damages the relationship with God and only the process of atonement can restore it. According to biblical teaching, sacrifice was the outward form of atonement (Leviticus 5), provided human beings also purified themselves spiritually (e.g. Isaiah 1. 11–17). After the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE, (the only means of atonement were prayer, repentance, fasting, charity, and full restitution.See also DAY OF ATONEMENT.

Christianity

In Christian theology, atonement is the reconciliation (‘at-one-ment’) of men and women to God through the death of Christ. The word was introduced by W. Tyndale (in 1526) to translate reconciliatio.

Although there have been no official Church definitions of the doctrine of the atonement, there have been many accounts of how the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus effect for others the forgiveness and reconciliation with God which he clearly mediated to many during his lifetime and ministry: in other words, these accounts attempt to answer the questions of what the death of Jesus adds to his life, or of how the ‘atonements’ effected in his life are still achieved after his death. In general, these accounts claim that the death of Jesus universalizes what would otherwise have been a local and restricted transaction. There are five major accounts falling into two groups, objective and subjective theories. Objective theories claim that something factual has been done for us which has dealt with the reality of sin, and which we could not have done for ourselves. The penal (or juridical) theory claims that Christ has borne the penalty instead of us, so that God can now forgive freely: sin, being an infinite offence against God, required a correspondingly infinite satisfaction which only God could make (see ANSELM). Literally interpreted, this may lead to claims that Christ is a substitute for each individual who deserves the penalty, hence substitutionary theories of atonement. Equally objective are sacrificial theories, which claim that Christ is the sinless offering who makes a universal expiation of the stain of sin—or, with less biblical and religious warrant, that he propitiates the deserved wrath of God; in neither of these cases is Christ a substitute: the New Testament seems to think more in terms of Christ as the representative of human beings. Again objectively, the atonement has been understood as a victory (perhaps by way of being a ransom or a ‘bait’) against evil and sin personified in the Devil: this is often called the classic or dramatic theory, also the Christus Victor theory (the title, in English, of G. Aulén's influential article, subsequently book, Den kristna forsonnigstanken, 1930/1). Subjective theories, also known as moral or exemplary theories, claim that the extent of God's love revealed in Christ and especially in his acceptance of a brutal and unjust death, move us to repentance. This theory is especially associated with Abelard. All these theories have an individualistic emphasis, as has the missionary appeal based on them. The advent of the sociology of religion has led in the 20th cent. to an increasing stress on the corporate nature of atonement, on the death and resurrection of Christ, recapitulated in baptism and the eucharist, constituting people as his body. This social understanding of atonement has been expressed especially through Liberation Theology.

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"Atonement." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 10 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Atonement." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 10, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/atonement

"Atonement." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved December 10, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/atonement

atonement

atonement, the reconciliation, or "at-one-ment," of sinful humanity with God. In Judaism both the Bible and rabbinical thought reflect the belief that God's chosen people must be pure to remain in communion with God. The Bible prescribed Temple sacrifice for the removal of sin and uncleanliness. The prophets taught that outward sacrifice must be accompanied by interior purification to be complete. With the destruction of the Temple and the consequent cessation of the sacrifice focus came to be placed on the religious life of the individual who sought to be reconciled with God through prayer, repentance, charity, and suffering. In the Jewish calendar, atonement for all but very serious sins came on the Day of Atonement (see Yom Kippur). In Christian theology, various doctrines of atonement have been advanced in history, all of which give central place to the life and death of Jesus. The classical theory of atonement, widely accepted in the early Church, depicted Jesus as the divine victor in a cosmic struggle with the devil for rights over the human soul. In medieval Latin theology emphasis shifted from the divine to the human side of Jesus. The most widely held theory at this time, often called vicarious atonement, was first stated by St. Anselm in Why God Became Human (1197–98): only human beings can rightfully repay the debt which was incurred through their willful disobedience to God, although only God can make the infinite satisfaction necessary to repay it; therefore God must send the God-man, Jesus Christ, to satisfy both these conditions. Anselm's doctrine, slightly altered or elaborated, has become part of Roman Catholic theology and of that of many Protestant churches. In another theory of atonement emphasis is placed on God's unconditional mercy and on the gradual growth toward union with God as inspired by Christ's selfless example. This theory was given its standard form by Peter Abelard in the 12th cent. Here the juridical concept is replaced by an organic and social concept. The tendency today in the Church is not to regard any single interpretation of atonement as all-embracing but to view Christ's atoning work from a variety of vantage points.

See G. Aulén, Christus Victor (tr. 1931); F. W. Dillistone, The Christian Understanding of Atonement (1968).

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atonement

a·tone·ment / əˈtōnmənt/ • n. reparation for a wrong or injury: she wanted to make atonement for her husband's behavior. ∎ Religion reparation or expiation for sin: the High Priest offered the sacrifice as atonement for all the sins of Israel. ∎  (the Atonement) Christian Theol. the reconciliation of God and humankind through Jesus Christ.

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atonement

atonement reparation, in Christian belief the reconciliation of God and mankind through Jesus Christ. The word comes (in the early 16th century, denoting unity or reconciliation, especially between God and man), from at one + the suffix -ment, influenced by medieval Latin adunamentum ‘unity’, and earlier onement from an obsolete verb one ‘to unite’.
Day of Atonement another term for Yom Kippur.

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atonement

atonement In religion, the process by which a sinner seeks forgiveness from and reconciliation with God, through an act of expiation such as prayer, fasting or good works. In Christian theology, Jesus Christ atoned for the sins of the world by his sacrifice on the cross. Jews observe Yom Kippur, their most sacred feast, as a day of repentance.

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Atonement

46. Atonement

  1. Murgatroyd, Sir Despard atones for each of his daily crimes by performing a good deed every afternoon. [Br. Opera: Gilbert and Sullivan Ruddigore ]

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"Atonement." Allusions--Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. . Retrieved December 10, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/atonement