Monday, 24 January 2011

A new typology of the atonement: Bruce McCormack's Croall Lectures

If you're lucky enough to be in Edinburgh, you've probably been going to hear Bruce McCormack's 2011 Croall Lectures over the past week at the University of Edinburgh. McCormack has developed a new typology of atonement theories, probably the most robust alternative to Gustaf Aulén's much-discussed (and overwhelmingly influential) typology in Christus Victor. Aulén's typology was (1) satisfaction, (2) moral influence, and (3) Christus victor. McCormack's typology centres on the concepts of the person and work of Christ, and his three categories are: (1) theories that order the work to the person, (2) theories that sever person and work, and (3) theories that order the person to the work. Another point of special interest is McCormack's challenge to non-violent atonement theories.

The lecture series is titled "Abandoned by God: The Death of Christ in Systematic, Historical, and Exegetical Perspective", and the six lectures are as follows:
  • The Decline of Protestantism and the Perils of Penal Substitution
  • The Incarnation as Saving Event: Theories Which Order the Work of Christ to a Metaphysical Conception of His Person
  • Let Justice and Peace Reign: Theories Which Fail Adequately to Integrate the Person and Work of Christ
  • After Metaphysics: Theories Which Order the Person of Christ to His Work
  • The Cry of Dereliction: The Death of Jesus in Eschatological Perspective
  • The Lord of Glory was Crucified: Reformed Kenoticism and Death in God
There's some detailed reporting on the first lecture over at Via Crucis.

9 Comments:

agapelife said...

I took Bruce McCormack's Systematic Theology course last spring here at Princeton Theological Seminary! Thanks for sharing.

yorocko.com said...

agapelife, you stole my comment idea! Actually, I took his Atonement class in 2003. I still have the printed lectures, and, as soon as these ones become available I'll compare them.

Indeed, thanks for sharing.

David W. Congdon said...

As one who read an early draft of these lectures, I can tell those of you who have taken his Atonement/ST courses (or read the lectures) that this new typology completely breaks with his old typology. It's a wholly new project.

agapelife said...

Thank you David, I'm now even more intrigued!

gracerector said...

Thanks for the heads-up. I continue to be fascinated by the energy Atonement theory generates among the faithful and among seekers. I participated on January 20 and 21 in a local site conversation related to the Trinity Institute, and the most passionate discussions centered around the Atonement.

Darren said...

Thanks, Ben, for the link! I've been swamped traveling to and fro from Edinburgh and tending to the family in between trips, but I'll definitely have something to say about all six of the lectures (plus the special seminar that Bruce held on Friday, which included the material on T.F. Torrance that he couldn't fit into Tuesday's lecture).

Hopefully I'll get the next one out today or tomorrow.

byron smith said...

Brad Littlejohn (PhD student here at New College in Edinburgh) has also been blogging the lectures. Three down, three to go this week.

One.
Two.
Three

Isaiah said...

Do you know if they will be published, and if so where?

byron smith said...

They will be published (or rather, the material on which they are based will become a book), though I'm not sure where.

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