Modern Believing

Rashdall's Doctrine of Atonement

Modern Believing (2012), 53, (3), 273–284.


In this article I have outlined Hastings Rashdall's theory of the Atonement in the context of contemporary theology. I have discussed his view that the belief in retribution in itself to support a theory of divine judgment is mistaken, because punishment is justified only when reformatory. Rashdall names the medieval theologian Abelard to illustrate his own, subjective interpretation. He believes divine love is inconsistent with the concept of penalty to a substitute victim. Rashdall's unpublished sermons illustrate his teaching in a non-academic context. Unpublished correspondence from the Bodleian Library following his major work of 1919 has been included.

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Author details

Rayner, Margaret