This book presents the chief insights concerning the mystery of atonement in the works of four theological guides: John Paul II, Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, Hans Urs von Balthasar, and Norbert Hoffmann.
The author argues for the central importance and perennial value of a theology of atonement, even as she explains the modern aversion to it. The book's central aim is to deepen our understanding of the biblical claim that God shows himself to be love precisely by sending his Son as atonement. "In this is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins" (1 Jn 4:10).
The book develops a compelling vision of atonement as a process that originates from and is engendered by God's own power to love. This vision not only takes account of the gravity of sin and its consequences, but also provides a clear illumination of the wholly gratuitous, radically forgiving, passionate and powerful nature of God's redeeming love for mankind. Distinct from the majority of theological accounts of atonement, which focus almost exclusively on the role of Christ, this book highlights the role of God the Father in the atoning mission of the Son.
"This is a deeply beautiful and splendidly illuminating book, at once a theological tour de force and a prayerful guide to the contemplation of the salvific work of Christ. It is exemplary in its integration of scriptural exegesis, historical and systematic theology. Among its many contributions is the way it carefully, lucidly, and lovingly traces the mystery of Christ's atonement back to the love of the Father. It is indeed a contemplation of the Cross that is permeated by 'the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit'."
—Khaled Anatolios, John A. O'Brien Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame
"Margaret Turek shares her prayer-soaked intelligence and becomes a trusted guide for those theologians who, with her, wish to apprehend the death of Christ and its 'dazzling' graces from within that same kind of admirable intellect."
—James Keating, Professor of Spiritual Theology, Kenrick Glennon Seminary
"Dr. Turek's scholarly study showcases a coherent and profound unity of thought among a quartet of theologians that has been underplayed until now. It does more than provide a thorough biblical and systematic exposition of the concept of atonement. It dynamizes atonement in extending it to the 'co-atonement' of Christians! Highly recommended."
—Emery de Gaál, Chairman and Professor of Dogmatic Theology, Mundelein Seminary
"Professor Turek has the competence and courage to restore the atoning work of Christ to its central place in American Christology. In the light of massive biblical and historical evidence, atonement theories such as the innocent Christ enduring the violent wrath of the Father or the mere juridically vicarious suffering of Christ are exposed as false or reductive distortions of the mystery. She shows beautifully the Trinitarian dimensions of the mystery of atonement and our personal participation in it."
—Roch Kereszty, O.Cist., Professor of Theology, University of Dallas
"In Fides et Ratio, John Paul II called for a renewal of Catholic theology centered on contemplation of the mystery of the Trinity as revealed in the life-giving death of the Incarnate Son. Margaret Turek's Atonement is a brilliant and timely response to this call. … Her work sets a new standard for the integration of biblical, dogmatic, and spiritual theology."
—Nicholas J. Healy, Jr., Associate Professor of Philosophy and Culture, Pontifical John Paul II Institute, Washington, D.C.
"Dr. Turek's Atonement is an absolute beacon of light on a topic that has fallen on hard times. …The text is a tour de force and a must read for anyone interested in this often contested doctrine."
—Larry Chapp, Retired Professor of Theology, DeSales University