Hostname: page-component-77c89778f8-7drxs Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-07-19T20:54:14.447Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Is the atonement necessary or fitting?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 October 2019

Department of Philosophy, Baylor University, One Bear Place #97273, Waco, TX76798, USA


In her impressive Atonement, Eleonore Stump claims that her novel Marian theory of the atonement meets a desideratum for a successful theory that Aquinas's theory does not, namely, showing that Christ's passion and death are essential to the solution to the problem of human sin. Here I suggest reasons to side with Aquinas, who says that Christ's suffering and death are not necessary, but merely a fitting way of solving the problem. If the fittingness of Christ's passion and death is a good enough justification for it, we lose a motivation for adopting the Marian theory over the Thomistic one.

Book Symposium
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2019

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Aquinas, T. (1265–1274) [1981] Summa Theologica, 5 vols, Fathers of the English Dominican Province (trs) (Westminster MD: Christian Classics).Google Scholar
Stump, E. (2018) Atonement (Oxford: Oxford University Press).CrossRefGoogle Scholar