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Victimization and healing: The biblical view

Achtemeier, Elizabeth
June 4, 2015

Source: (1999) In God and the victim: Theological reflections on evil, victimization, justice, and forgiveness, ed. Lisa Barnes Lampman and Michelle D. Shattuck, 89-106. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company; and Neighbors Who Care: Washington, D.C.

In this chapter, retired seminary professor Elizabeth Achtemeier urges the Church to consider crime victims and respond to their needs primarily from the perspective of God’s purposes in the world rather than from contemporary cultural perspectives. Achtemeier examines key biblical themes and passages to explicate what this means. God created the world intrinsically good. Our rebellion against God corrupted the world and human existence, leading to many forms of victimization. Yet God acts to overcome our rebellion and heal the harms caused by it. Therefore, according to Achtemeier, we should respond to victimization in accord with God’s purposes. In drawing out the implications of this, Achtemeier discusses vengeance, forgiveness, trust in God, assistance to victims, and restitution.


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