Article first published online: 5 APR 2013
© 2013 The Author. New Blackfriars © 2013 The Dominican Council.
Volume 95, Issue 1057, pages 308–323, May 2014
How to Cite
Charlton, W. (2014), Theological Atomism. New Blackfriars, 95: 308–323. doi: 10.1111/nbfr.12021
- Issue published online: 4 APR 2014
- Article first published online: 5 APR 2013
By ‘atomism’ I mean the idea, applicable in various fields, that explanation proceeds from small to large and part to whole. A theological atomist would see the salvation of mankind as the sum of the salvations of individuals and try to understand the Incarnation, the Last Supper, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection and the Ascension as successive episodes each making its own separate contribution. I argue that we are essentially social beings, and infer that God can communicate with us, and we can be united with him, only as forming a society. More controversially, I suggest that the Son of God became incarnate primarily in a society, and saved it by turning it into a single supernatural organism, living with divine life.