Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index


Indemnity is generally a payment for damages done. For example, after wars, the losers have sometimes been required to pay indemnities. An insurance payout is often called an indemnity, or it can be insurance to avoid paying expenses in case of a lawsuit.

In pre-biblical times, most societies allowed for non-equal indeminity; a person who was only injured was often allowed to kill the person responsible in revenge. This was true of many near-eastern and middle-eastern societies.

A innovation occurred with the development of the Hebrew Bible ("Old Testament") which put a limit on indemnity; in the Biblical view a maximum limit was applied with the phrase "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth." In later centuries this was anachronistically read by non-Jews as a promotion of equal physical indeminity, while many Jews and Bible scholars hold that in its original context its function was to limit such actions.

(To be discussed: Indemnity in English common law, American law, European law, etc.)

Indemnity in the Unification Church

In the Unification Church, indemnity is a theological term involved in the absolution of sin.

Usually, a sinner may pay "lesser indemnity" by performing an act of contrition. A secular counterpart to lesser indemnity would be if a child broke a neighbor's window, and the neighbor accepted the child's apology as settling the matter.

On a few exceptional occasions, God required "greater indemnity", as when he required the Israelites to wander 40 years in the desert after 10 of the 12 spies sent to Canaan reported faithlessly, "a year for every day". To do: provide scriptural reference.

According to unofficial notes by an audience member, Reverend Moon said:

"Through the principle of indemnity Hitler killed 6 million Jews." [1]
This would seem to imply that the Holocaust (murder of six million Jews by the Nazis) served as indemnity for their responsibility for the death of Jesus (see Unification Church and anti-Semitism)

External links