30 December 2010

Book: The Politics of Redemption: The Social Logic of Salvation

Just published: Adam Kotsko, "The Politics of Redemption: The Social Logic of Salvation" (Continuum, October 2010):


Publisher's description: "Recent decades have witnessed an explosion of new perspectives on 'atonement theory,' the traditional name for reflections on the meaning of Christ's work. These new theologies view Christ as a political figure and mobilize social theory to understand the contemporary context and Christ's meaning for that context. Politics of Redemption demonstrates that pre-modern theologians also understood Christ's role in a fundamentally social way. The argument proceeds by analysing the most important and original contributors to the tradition of atonement theory (Irenaeus, Gregory of Nyssa, Anselm, and Abelard). The investigation reveals that they all work within a shared social-relational logic based on the solidarity of all human beings and the irreducible relatedness of humanity and the rest of creation. Having brought this social-relational logic to the surface, the work concludes by sketching out a fresh atonement theory as a way of showing that our understanding of Christ's work and of its relevance for our life together is enriched by foregrounding the question of how creation, and particularly the human social sphere, is structured."

Endorsement: "An indispensable contribution to the thorny theory of atonement. Hip to the feminist critique, inflected by the postmodern return to political theology, and steeped in the depths and potentialities of the doctrinal tradition, Kotsko's relational ontology for the doctrine of redemption offers a lucid and erudite resource for a wide spectrum of Christian theology." (Catherine Keller, Drew University)

Adam Kotsko is Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion at Kalamazoo College.

1 comment:

  1. Why does everything have to turn out to be Christian?

    Especially when two thirds of the worlds human population are not Christians. Nor are the billions of other heart-sensitive sentient beings in/on this mostly non-human world.

    And how/why after 1700 years on church created horror, could any sane and culturally literate human being even begin to pretend that Christian-ism can or will provide anything but more of the same horrors.

    By culturally literate I mean someone who is thoroughly familiar with the Great Tradition of humankind altogether, and who has thus transcended their inherited religious and cultural provincialism.