The central Christian belief in salvation through the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ remains one of the most intractable mysteries of Christian faith. Throughout history, it has given rise to various theories of atonement, many of which have been subject to critique as they no longer speak to contemporary notions of evil and sin or to current conceptions of justice. One of the important challenges for contemporary Christian theology thus involves exploring new ways of understanding the salvific meaning of the cross.
In Atonement and Comparative Theology, Christian theologians with expertise in Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism, and African Religions reflect on how engagement with these traditions sheds new light on the Christian understanding of atonement by pointing to analogous structures of sin and salvation, drawing attention to the scandal of the cross as seen by the religious other, and re-interpreting aspects of the Christian understanding of atonement. Together, they illustrate the possibilities for comparative theology to deepen and enrich Christian theological reflection.
Catherine Cornille is Professor of Comparative Theology at Boston College, where she holds the Newton College Alumnae Chair of Western Culture. She is the author of The Im-Possibility of Interreligious Dialogue and Meaning and Method in Comparative Theology.
Atonement and Comparative Theology is an excellent resource for those who think they have no time to teach comparative theology because they are too busy teaching systematics, or Christology, or any other branch of theology. It helps us to understand Christian theologies of atonement by using a comparative lens from some of the finest comparative theologians in the world.---Amir Hussain, Chair and Professor of Theological Studies, Loyola Marymount University,
What Christian doctrine has proved itself more problematic—for biblical hermeneutics, for ecumenical engagement, for feminist theology, for ethical deployment—than that of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus? And, therefore, what better choice for a multi-religious engagement? This volume opens the symbol of the atonement to startlingly fresh questions, contrasts, and critiques. Catherine Cornille has effected a multi-faceted demonstration of the transformative potential—beyond respectful juxtaposition or conceptual translation— of comparative theology.---Catherine Keller, George T. Cobb Professor of Constructive Theology, Drew University, and author of Cloud of the Impossible: Negative Theology and Planetary Entanglement,