Monday, July 22, 2013

Original Sin: A Short Typology of Views

I recently gave a short paper at a conference of grantees associated with the Evolution and Christian Faith programme of the Biologos Foundation. In it, I sorted out certain of the elements present in the theologies of original sin of Augustine and Barth, while proposing some kind of constructive confluence of these theologians. This '3rd. option' as I termed it, is a mixture of elements taken from Augustine and Barth, but which excludes certain other elements.

For example, a contemporary view of original sin would exclude Augustine's commitment to an individual human male Adam, yet could accommodate a certain concept of inherited or (preferably) infection of human nature by sin. Such a view could take from Barth his realistic interpretation of the Genesis creation narrative as saga, but question Barth's overly rigorous view of sin as 'nothingness' since it is clear from an evolutionary perspective that many human sins do indeed have physical causes.  

This material is being worked up in a paper and eventually will be incorporated into a forthcoming monograph.