The Logic of Retribution

From Chapter 1 of Instead of Atonement by Ted Grimsrud

  • Grimsrud equates retribution with violence. “At the core of this ‘logic’ usually rests a commitment to the necessity of retribution; using violence is justified as the appropriate response to wrongdoing.” (AK location 134)
  • “We find it deeply ingrained in the religious consciousness of the United States the belief that retribution is God’s will.”
  • “A theologically grounded ‘logic of retribution’ underlies rationales for using violence. In ‘the logic of retribution,’ when all is said and done, people understand God most fundamentally in terms of impersonal, inflexible holiness. They see God’s law as the unchanging standard by which sin is measured, and believe God responds to violations of the law with justifiable violence.” (AK location 145)
  • “Within the logic of retribution, salvation (i.e., the restoration of harmony with God) is achieved as the result of violence.” (AK location 179)
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