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the reconciliation, or "at-one-ment," of sinful humanity with God. In Judaism both the Bible and rabbinical thought reflect the belief that God's chosen people must be pure to remain in communion with God. The Bible prescribed Temple sacrifice for the removal of sin and uncleanliness. The prophets taught that outward sacrifice must be accompanied by interior purification to be complete. With the destruction of the Temple and the consequent cessation of the sacrifice focus came to be placed on the religious life of the individual who sought to be reconciled with God through prayer, repentance, charity, and suffering. In the Jewish calendar, atonement for all but very serious sins came on the Day of Atonement (see Yom KippurYom Kippur
[Heb.,=day of atonement], in Judaism, the most sacred holy day, falling on the 10th day of the Jewish month of Tishri (usually late September or early October). It is a day of fasting and prayer for forgiveness for sins committed during the year.
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). In Christian theology, various doctrines of atonement have been advanced in history, all of which give central place to the life and death of Jesus. The classical theory of atonement, widely accepted in the early Church, depicted Jesus as the divine victor in a cosmic struggle with the devil for rights over the human soul. In medieval Latin theology emphasis shifted from the divine to the human side of Jesus. The most widely held theory at this time, often called vicarious atonement, was first stated by St. AnselmAnselm, Saint
, 1033?–1109, prelate in Normandy and England, archbishop of Canterbury, Doctor of the Church (1720), b. Aosta, Piedmont. After a carefree youth of travel and schooling in Burgundy he became a disciple and companion of Lanfranc, the famed theologian and prior
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 in Why God Became Human (1197–98): only human beings can rightfully repay the debt which was incurred through their willful disobedience to God, although only God can make the infinite satisfaction necessary to repay it; therefore God must send the God-man, Jesus Christ, to satisfy both these conditions. Anselm's doctrine, slightly altered or elaborated, has become part of Roman Catholic theology and of that of many Protestant churches. In another theory of atonement emphasis is placed on God's unconditional mercy and on the gradual growth toward union with God as inspired by Christ's selfless example. This theory was given its standard form by Peter AbelardAbelard, Peter
, Fr. Pierre Abélard , 1079–1142, French philosopher and teacher, b. Le Pallet, near Nantes. Life

Abelard went (c.1100) to Paris to study under William of Champeaux at the school of Notre Dame and soon attacked the ultrarealist
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 in the 12th cent. Here the juridical concept is replaced by an organic and social concept. The tendency today in the Church is not to regard any single interpretation of atonement as all-embracing but to view Christ's atoning work from a variety of vantage points.


See G. Aulén, Christus Victor (tr. 1931); F. W. Dillistone, The Christian Understanding of Atonement (1968).


Murgatroyd, Sir Despard
atones for each of his daily crimes by performing a good deed every afternoon. [Br. Opera: Gilbert and Sullivan Ruddigore]


1. Christian theol
a. the reconciliation of man with God through the life, sufferings, and sacrificial death of Christ
b. the sufferings and death of Christ
2. Christian Science the state in which the attributes of God are exemplified in man
References in periodicals archive ?
In addition to general guidelines for expiation, major topics include expiations related to puja, the linga, the Guru, food consumption, the great sins (mahapataka), sexual activity, menstruation, birth and death impurity, and the cleaning of objects.
An award-worthy performance by stage vet Lu Zhong fuses the incongruent elements of "Red Amnesia," Wang Xiaoshuai's involving if fragmented take on an older woman lost in the disorientation of China's breakneck changes and seeking expiation for an earlier act of self-preservation.
We might refuse the removal, the expiation, of our guilt out of pride
It is agreed that ta'zir in every sin that does not limit nor expiation whether disobedience to God, any group or affect the rights or security system, or the right of hairpieces, which affect the rights of individuals.
Nothing can be more pleasing to our father God than the Christ himself, who offered himself indeed, his life as a victim in expiation for our sins.
In expiation, he also created a cucumber-mint salad, "to make up for the fact that we put bacon in our potato salad.
The hall, originally known as Llangoed Castle, was donated to the church in 560AD by Prince Iddon "in expiation of his sins".
Instead, he reminds us, drawing on the gospel image of Jesus' response to the pitiful multitudes, of a most crucial fact, or better yet, living reality of the Christian narrative: Christ, who has made expiation for sins by his sacrificial gift of himself on the cross, (1) looks compassionately upon all people, individually and within their respective communities; and that he does so because he is (2) solicitous for them, summoning them back to himself and his Father and the communion of life and love they share.
The Prophet, sallallhu 'alayhiwasallam, said: "If one of you forgets a prayer or sleeps through its time, (as in a narration), he should pray it as soon as he remembers it, and there is no expiation for it save that.
In the early hours of Monday, many other devotees expressed their reverence and sought expiation for their sins as they immersed themselves in the holy waters, and performed 'rti', rituals with oil lamps.
He understands the servant in Isa 52:13-53:12 as Israel and notes that the sacrifice of the servant plays a part in the expiation of sin.
Blood expiation in Hittite and biblical ritual; origins, context, and meaning.