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Durham e-Theses
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Transforming revelation: towards a revelatory model of salvation

Scrutton, Anastasia Philippa (2002) Transforming revelation: towards a revelatory model of salvation. Masters thesis, Durham University.



This dissertation questions the modern and contemporary promotion of objective and Crucifixion-centred models of the Atonement at the expense of the apparently 'subjective' and 'moral'. I suggest that the idea of revelation as salvific is more fundamental to many of the 'exemplarist' models of salvation than the idea of Jesus as a moral example, and that the criticisms fired at example-based soteriology are inapplicable to soteriology rooted in revelation. I argue that the grounds for its exclusion from the status of first-order model should be re-evaluated, and defend it against five primary criticisms. First, I argue against the accusation that a revelatory model has no foundation in Scripture or Christian tradition, and in so doing I explore the relationship between salvation and revelation m The Gospel of John, and in the works of Origen, Abailard, GWH Lampe, and Dumitru Staniloae. Second, I dispute the assertion that a revelatory model is subjective and entails a Pelagian attitude towards divine grace, suggesting that the objective/subjective distinction is a false dichotomy, and, taken to extremes, is damaging to soteriology. Third, I contest the perennial criticism that a revelatory model would render Christ's death superfluous, suggesting rather that such a soteriology might unite history and theology in biblically and theologically responsible way. Fourth, I question the claim that a revelatory model necessarily excludes the non-Christian from salvation in Christ. Finally, I argue against the idea that a revelatory model would have a weak and naive view of sin, suggesting a view of sin connected to a revelatory model rooted in (but not identical with) that of Augustine of Hippo. While much of the dissertation is therefore apologetic, there is also a constructive element to the work. In the final chapter I sketch a possible revelatory model, connecting ideas such as the identification of God as love, sin as privation and apatheia, and the equation of inspiration and infusion. In addition, I point to many of the insights inherent in a revelatory model from which, I suggest, soteriology as a whole would benefit. The aim of the dissertation, therefore, is to propose a re-evaluation of revelatory soteriology as a first-order model, questioning many of the preconceptions that currently obstruct it, and indicating reasons for its theological value.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:2002
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:01 Aug 2012 11:36

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