Judgement on the Cross: Resurrection as Divine Vindication

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Muslims across the centuries have challenged the historicity of Jesus’s death, rejected its salvific meaning, mocked its metaphysical implications, and questioned the propriety of its ubiquitous presence in churches, liturgy, and ritual. This chapter explores two Muslim critics of the atonement: ‘Alī al-Ṭabarī’s critique of incarnational accounts of the atonement and Isma’il Ragi al-Faruqi’s argument against substitutionary atonement. The chapter shows how key ideas from the Islamic traditions about God’s free mercy, the individual’s responsibility for their own moral actions, and the eschatological nature of salvation are leveraged to challenge Christian claims that redemption has already been accomplished in and through Jesus. In response to these challenges, the chapter presents a scriptural and comparative theological argument for shifting the primary theological focus of the atonement from the cross to the resurrection. The chapter argues that placing the primary weight of a theology of the atonement on the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth from the dead entails a vindication of Jesus’s life and mission, a rejection of injustice, and serves as an eschatological promise for all who suffer. The resurrection provides a comparative framework within which Muslim concerns around propitiation, morality, and eschatology might be re-thought and addressed by Christian theology.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAtonement and Comparative Theology
Subtitle of host publicationThe Cross in Dialogue with Other Religions
EditorsCatherine Cornille
PublisherFordham University Press
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9780823294367
ISBN (Print)9780823294350, 9780823294343
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sep 2021

Publication series

NameComparative Theology: Thinking Across Traditions
PublisherFordham University Press


  • ‘Alī al-Ṭabarī
  • Christian-Muslim relations
  • Isma’il al-Faruqi
  • resurrection
  • substitutionary atonement


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