Joshua C. Thurow
University of Texas at San Antonio
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.
Keywords atonement  collective responsibility  forgiveness
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.12978/jat.2015-3.0914-65190722a
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 63,323
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Responsibility and Atonement.Richard Swinburne - 1989 - Oxford University Press.
Collective Responsibility.Marion Smiley - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Do We Believe in Penal Substitution?David K. Lewis - 1997 - Philosophical Papers 26 (3):203 - 209.

View all 18 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Atonement Without Satisfaction.Richard Cross - 2001 - Religious Studies 37 (4):397-416.
Reparation and Atonement.David Mcnaughton - 1992 - Religious Studies 28 (2):129 - 144.
Atonement and the Concept of Punishment.Daniel J. Hill & Joseph Jedwab - 2015 - In Oliver D. Crisp & Fred Sanders (eds.), Locating Atonement. Zondervan. pp. 139-153.
A Participatory Model of the Atonement.Tim Bayne & Greg Restall - 2009 - In Yujin Nagasawa & Erik J. Wielenberg (eds.), New Waves in Philosophy of Religion. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 150.
Stump on the Nature of Atonement.E. J. Coffman - 2012 - In Kelly James Clark & Michael Rea (eds.), Science, Religion, and Metaphysics: New Essays on the Philosophy of Alvin Plantinga. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 144-151.
Forgiveness in a Political Context: The Challenge and the Potential.Pol Vandevelde - 2013 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 39 (3):263-276.
Murder and the Death of Christ.N. M. L. Nathan - 2010 - Think 9 (26):103-107.
Swinburne on Atonement.Steven S. Aspenson - 1996 - Religious Studies 32 (2):187 - 204.
Swinburne on Atonement: STEVEN S. ASPENSON.Steven S. Aspenson - 1996 - Religious Studies 32 (2):187-204.
Christian Atonement and Kantian Justification.Philip L. Quinn - 1986 - Faith and Philosophy 3 (4):440-462.


Added to PP index

Total views
15 ( #674,128 of 2,448,721 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
13 ( #49,460 of 2,448,721 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes