Collectivism and Individualism does not just "run" our understanding of government, or policy, but also theology.
How we understand the Church has been based on these understandings, if not directly, then presuppositionally.
Is the Church a social organization? Is the Church a "living organism"? Is membership in the Church dependent on individual choice and/or faith, or is Church membership about what "form" is required of the religious hierarchy, the traditions of the Church? Or is being a member of the Church dependent on what one does or believes, or both? Is faith dependent on or independent from organized religion and/or social intereaction?
Is the text, in a religious Tradition to be approached by the individual or the magisterum? Is the individual's devotional practice and/or personal experience to be valued? Or is submission to authority structure important in affirming one's faith?
All of these understandings and their value has formed our Traditions within Christian faith, and I think forms most organized religions. Faith itself is larger than religion, as faith is about persoal values. These values can be defined by religion, but don't have to be, they can also be defined on reason, which sometimes challenges traditional understandings of "belief systems".
Atonement theories are based on understandings of Jesus death. The meanings of these theories is like any other theory "a form of understanding and meaning making" in any discipline.
I find that the progress of natural science and our undertandng of man's understanding of the world in general, in every discipline, challenges certain traditional assumptions. This is where the broader and wider discussion on how, what, where and when policy should be made. These policy thinkers live in our "think tanks", and they hold the brightest amongst us. We should be thankful for these think tanks that question, struggle and help our government and the public to understand the issues, th questions, and the decisions of our policy makers! Then, there is a balance of power to government by the intellectual elite. But, who holds the intellectural elite accountable?