Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Alexis Doval: Angling for the Devil: Revisiting Gregory of Nyssa's Atonement Metaphor

The history of the doctrine of salvation reveals a variety of models, metaphors, and theories about the work of Christ. In one such metaphor, usually attributed to Gregory of Nyssa, Christ is metaphorically considered as bait on a hook that deceives Satan who is likened to a fish, and who is subsequently hooked and redered powerless by God. The trope is made more complicated by including the metaphor of Christ as ransom owed to Satan. The theory has been much criticized for placing Satan in a position of making demands on God, and God's subsequent use of deception to outwit Satan. But metaphors are by nature fluid in their significance––they are often taken to mean what what was not intended and at the same time not considered with sufficient imagination for the meaning they can convey. This communication will offer a fresh look at the positive aspects of this model of atonement.

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