Heythrop Journal 57 (6):37-43 (2016)

Thomas M. Ward
Baylor University
The two most important concepts in Duns Scotus's theology of the Atonement are satisfaction and merit. Just what these amount to and how they function in his theory are heavily conditioned by two more general commitments: Scotus's voluntarism, which includes the claim that nearly all of God's relations with the created order are contingent; and his formulation of the Franciscan Thesis, which holds that fixing the sin problem is not the primary purpose of God's Incarnation in Christ and that if Adam hadn't sinned God would have become incarnate anyway. In this essay I will discuss this theoretical background of Scotus's atonement theology before moving on to discuss his understanding of merit and satisfaction, how these are related, and how they relate to the theoretical background. I will engage some important recent scholarly attempts to position Scotus's Atonement theology as not quite as anti-Anselmian as history has characterized it, arguing that one of these attributes to Scotus an understanding of merit which cannot be Scotus's in fact, since it entails a restriction on divine freedom that Scotus certainly would reject.
Keywords Anselm  Atonement  Duns Scotus  Voluntarism
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/heyj.12315
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: 63,417
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Woluntaryzm i intelektualizm w etyce Jana Dunsa Szkota.Martyna Koszkało - 2012 - Przeglad Filozoficzny - Nowa Seria 83 (3):441-458.
A Most Methodical Lover?: On Scotus's Arbitrary Creator.Thomas Williams - 2000 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 38 (2):169-202.
Duns Scotus.Richard Cross - 1999 - Oxford University Press.
The Metaphysics of Duns Scotus and Onto-Theology.Michael Wittala - 2009 - Philosophy Today 53 (Supplement):158-163.
Did Scotus Modify His Position on the Relationship of Intellect and Will?Mary Beth Ingham - 2002 - Recherches de Theologie Et Philosophie Medievales 69 (1):88-116.
Fraqueza da vontade no voluntarismo? Investigações sobre João Duns Scotus.Jörn Müller - 2005 - Veritas – Revista de Filosofia da Pucrs 50 (3):117-138.
Giovanni Duns Scoto – Una introduzione bibliografica.Franco Todescan - 2005 - Veritas – Revista de Filosofia da Pucrs 50 (3):5-40.
Recent Work on the Philosophy of Duns Scotus.Richard Cross - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (8):667-675.


Added to PP index

Total views
45 ( #237,571 of 2,449,102 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #442,577 of 2,449,102 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes