Communal reconciliation: corporate responsibility and opposition to systemic sin

Drew T. Everhart*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent events have given rise to considerations of systemic sin and how the church should respond to it. This article looks at passages in the Hebrew Bible which demonstrate the communal character of sin and atonement. God holds the whole nation responsible despite righteous individuals, often for the sins of individuals. Paul develops this relation between individuals and groups in his ecclesiology. I argue from this development that responsibility for sins, individual or systemic, is placed on the whole community. Thus, there is for the church a corporate responsibility for reconciliation, demanding group agency in rectifying systemic sins like racism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-156
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Systematic Theology
Issue number1
Early online date25 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2023


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