Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

The Ill-Made Knight and the Stain on the Soul

Michael Rea

Abstract

One of the main tasks for an account of the Christian doctrine of the atonement is to explain how and in what ways the salvifically relevant work of Christ heals  the damage wrought by human sin on our souls, our relationships with one another, and our relationship with God. One kind of damage often neglected in philosophical treatments of the atonement, but discussed at some length in Eleonore Stump’s forthcoming At-one-ment, is what she, following St. Thomas Aquinas, calls the stain on the soul.  The stain on the soul comprises the “moral leftovers” of serious evil, damage to the soul that goes beyond the guilt, shame, and separation from God brought about by sin and that lingers in a person even after she has repented and been forgiven. In this paper, I critically examine Stump’s account of how the work of Christ deals with the problem of the stain on the soul. I offer reasons for thinking that if the stain is exactly as she describes it, then it is indelible; and then I explore possible ways forward for her account of the atonement.

Keywords

atonement, stain on the soul, narrative, self

Full Text:

PDF

References

Adams, Marilyn McCord. 1990. “Horrendous Evils and the Goodness of God.” In The Problem of Evil, edited by Marilyn McCord Adams and Robert Merrihew Adams. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

———. 2003. “In Praise of Blasphemy!” Philosophia 30: 33–49.

———. 2006. Christ and Horrors: The Coherence of Christology. Current Issues in Theology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Greenhoot, Andrea Follmer, Shengkai Sun, Sarah L. Bunnell, and Katherine Lindboe. 2013. “Making Sense of Traumatic Memories: Memory Qualities and Psychological Symptoms in Emerging Adults with and without Abuse Histories.” Memory 21: 125–42.

Habermas, Tilmann, and Christin Köber. 2015. “Autobiographical Reasoning Is Constitutive for Narrative Identity.” In Oxford Handbook of Identity Development, edited by McLean, Kate C. and Moin Syed, 149–65. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

McAdams, Dan P. 2001. “The Psychology of Life Stories.” Review of General Psychology 5: 100–122.

———. 2008. “Personal Narrative and the Life Story.” In Handbook of Personality: Theory and Research, edited by Oliver John, Richard Robins, and Lawrence Pervin, 3rd edition, 242–62. New York: Guilford Press.

McLean, Kate C. 2015. The Co-Authored Self: Family Stories and the Construction of Personal Identity. New York: Oxford University Press.

McLean, Kate C., and Dan P. McAdams. 2013. “Narrative Identity.” Current Directions in Psychological Science 22: 233–38.

McLean, Kate C., Monisha Pasupathi, and Jennifer Pals. 2007. “Selves Creating Stories Creating Selves: A Process Model of Self-Development.” Personality and Social Psychology Review 11: 262–78.

Panchuk, Michelle. 2018. “The Shattered Spiritual Self and the Sacred: Philosophical Reflections on Religious Trauma, Worship, and Deconversion.” Res Phiulosophica.

Rea, Michael. 2018. The Hiddenness of God. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Schechtman, Marya. 1996. The Constitution of Selves. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

———. 2014. Staying Alive: Personal Identity, Practical Concerns, and the Unity of a Life. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Singer, Jefferson. 2004. “Narrative Identity and Meaning Making Across the Adult Lifespan: An Introduction.” Journal of Personality 72: 437–60.

Stump, Eleonore. 2018. At-Onement. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

White, T. H. 1940. The Ill-Made Knight. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons.

Article Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.