Bound to Sin: Abuse, Holocaust and the Christian Doctrine of by Alistair McFadyen

By Alistair McFadyen

This ebook discusses the Christian doctrine of sin on the subject of sexual abuse of youngsters and the Holocaust, permitting those pathological events to light up and query our figuring out of sin. Taking heavily the explanatory strength of secular discourses for interpreting and regulating healing motion in terms of such occasions, the e-book asks no matter if the theological language of sin can provide extra illumination by means of talking of God and the area jointly. The publication is rare in discussing the Holocaust in terms of Christian doctrine.

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5. For a useful orientation here, see H. D. Lewis, Morals and the New Theology (London: Victor Gollancz, 1947); Morals and Revelation (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1951). 6. H. Richard Niebuhr makes a different and powerful case for the independence of sin as a religious category over against the hegemony of the moral in our culture in ‘Man the Sinner’, Journal of Religion, 15 (1935), 272–80. 19 20 Drawing into Conversation special form of causality, such that it is a necessary but insufficient condition for the attribution of moral responsibility to trace the cause of an effect back to an individual’s action.

On the general point, see Roger Trigg, ‘Sin and Freedom’, Religious Studies, 20, 191–202. Whilst avoiding any metaphysical assumption such as pre-temporal choices, Sharon Lamb The case of original sin There has been a long and complex history of ethical discussion concerning the essential role of freedom, of willing and of knowledge in moral behaviour. The bottom line is that freedom is a prerequisite for there to be a moral accounting of behaviour, at least in the sense that it would have been possible to have willed or done otherwise.

Thus, the resistance of secular culture to original sin may throw the distinctively theological aspects of understanding pathology as sin into sharp relief. We may therefore ask whether alternative conceptions remain functionally theological, as well as whether they hold as much or more explanatory power than original sin or the secular, moral discourse with which they are allied. Beginning with original sin, then, maximises the possibilities of testing the explanatory and descriptive power of sin as a theological language.

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