A post-structural theological critique of the perspectives of Christopher Hitchens on vicarious redemption.
Pillay, Patrick Brian Segaren.
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The guarded mind-set with which this study was initially constructed , was influenced by the notion that all that could have been said on the subject of vicarious redemption within the Judeo-Christian belief system, has been produced through scholarly research on the theories, doctrinal positions, and systems of belief, around the constructs of redemption and vicarious redemption within the Judeo-Christian worldview. However this study is premised on the view that there is a noticeable gap in the body of scholarship around the critique of the Christian belief system, and in particular, one of its doctrinal pillars, that of vicarious redemption. This thesis argues that this gap is being confronted by the resurgence of new challenges to the proposition of redemption, as raised from within the New Atheist movement, in which the late British-American author and public figure, Christopher Hitchens became the central and leading figure. A theological critique of the construct and doctrine of vicarious redemption, as undertaken by Christopher Hitchens, forms the core academic focus of this study; which is conducted within a post-structural theoretical framework. The study, whilst examining the archaeology and architecture of the idea of vicarious redemption within the theological superstructure of Christendom and its founding doctrinal formations and theories, does represents an intentional step outside of the conventional trajectory of theological scholarship and analysis. In this latter regard, and alongside conventional literary resources on the subject, this study, has been inspired and informed by the convergence of, online New Media as a rich set of resource platforms for new research on this important subject. Given these new opportunities for research, alongside conventional research methods, this study captures the outright rejection, by Christopher Hitchens, of the doctrine of vicarious redemption; in what could be argued to represent a Kairos moment in biblical interpretation and criticism on the idea of redemption; a crucial and opportune moment in scholarly theological reflection, to which the special insights, hermeneutics and life and work of Christopher Hitchens has made an indelible contribution.