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The Anatomy of Salvation: Robert Grosseteste on Christ’s Death, Passion, and Satisfaction

Crozier, William (2022) 'The Anatomy of Salvation: Robert Grosseteste on Christ’s Death, Passion, and Satisfaction.', Irish Theological Quarterly, 87 (4). pp. 259-378.


While Robert Grosseteste’s contribution to the 13th-century debate on the reason for the Incarnation is well known, his novel theory of what caused Christ’s death, and in particular the role which it plays in shaping his understanding of the atonement, has largely gone unexplored. This article first outlines Grosseteste’s belief that Christ died not as a result of the cross, but rather as a result of his divine will, focusing specifically upon on his scientific arguments showing that at the moment of his death Christ’s body was still ‘healthy and whole.’ The article then shows how Grosseteste makes his theory of Christ’s self-immolation central to his account of satisfaction. Particular attention is paid to the role of suffering in Grosseteste’s theory of the redemption and how he places charity and the Aristotelian notion of friendship at the heart of Christ’s satisfactory act, thereby prefiguring something of Aquinas’s key ideas.

Item Type:Article
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Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
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Publisher statement:This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
Date accepted:02 September 2022
Date deposited:21 December 2022
Date of first online publication:31 October 2022
Date first made open access:21 December 2022

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