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Marulić's Teaching on Salvation

Mladen Parlov

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 83 Kb


str. 59-73

preuzimanja: 816



The experience of personal sin and fear in front of what happens after death, spurred Marulić, as a believer and theologian, to consider salvation as an act of God’s love and mercy. His own reasoning on salvation proceeded in the way typical of Christian humanists: he sought proof in the Testaments where he found that God, in order to reconcile man with himself, sacrificed his own Son in the Paschal Sacrament of passion, death and resurrection. The answer to the disturbing question of »why in this and not in some other way« he, however, found in the theologies of the day. Drawing on the Church Fathers, St. Anselm and especially Thomas Aquinas, he discussed the salvational effects of Christ’s passion, death and resurrection in an un–systematic but highly practical way, since his primary concern was — as always — the spiritual benefit of the reader. For him, as for Thomas Aquinas, the reason of Christ’s incarnation was sin. In other words, Christ’s incarnation was not a necessity but the fruit of God’s love of man, who — after having sinned — was unable to find his way to God and remained in the power of the Devil. Not only that Christ with his sacrificial death made atonement for the sinning humanity and thus reconciled man with God, but he defeated death and the Devil for the sake of humanity. These would be, in brief, the effects of Christ’s passion and death, which our humanist, for didactic reasons, distinguished from the effects of Christ’s resurrection. Namely, with his resurrection from the dead Christ granted to the believers a new, eternal life. Also, he oponed for them the gates of Heaven, which, because of the original sin, had been shut. Sharing St Anselm’s view of the effects of the resurrection of Christ, who »for our sake« defeated the inimical forces of sin, death and the Devil, in his dealing with Christus Victor Marulić took over the patristic interpretation. According to some authors, this model of salvation, had prevailed in the time of the Church Fathers and later survived in popular piety, from which we may conclude that Marulić met it in the Church Fathers as well as in the practices of popular piety. In the figure of Christus Victor Marulić obviously found solace and aid for his day by day battle against sin and the Devil, convinced that following in the footsteps of Christ and partaking of his agony he would attain his glory as well.

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