Kimberly Vrudny

Beauty’s Incarnation

In Forgiveness, HIV/AIDS, South Africa, Theological Aesthetics, Theological Reflection on August 9, 2010 at 1:15 am

On Forgiveness

(This article is now under review with a book publisher.) It speaks of the problem of the classical theory of atonement. Anselm imagined God’s justice, understood retributively, to be at odds with God’s mercy. By reconsidering the cross within its political context as an instrument of torture representing an act of brutality and injustice that God would oppose, I re-imagine the cross to represent God’s desire for non-violence. Jesus accepted death rather than to allow his disciples and the revolutionary spirit around him to raise in arms against the Roman Empire. By looking to African ideas about justice originating from a restorative rather than a retributive framework, I attempt to reconcile God’s justice and God’s mercy as coming from a unified and non-conflicted Being, whose incarnation in Jesus demonstrated a redemptive love for humankind—even for enemies who were out to destroy Life—redemptive by the degree to which we likewise live in love, made possible by grace.

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