Friday, October 22, 2010

Original Sin

From a blog by Paul Zalonski
Is the Doctrine of Original sin relevant?

Good question. I am not always confident that the baptized ask this question enough in the lives as Christians. From what I can tell, there seems to be an easy dismissal of anything that requires assent and personal responsibility for our actions, words and thinking. Why? Do we admit there is a sin, that it's part of the human condition, that it's handed down from generation to generation? Are we no longer need of redemption? Is humanity's need for salvation a thing of the past, quaint?  Does the fear of God no longer have currency for a relationship with the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving God, creator of heaven and earth?

Jesuit Father Donath Hercsik, a professor of Dogmatic Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University (Rome), raises the question of relevance and Original Sin for those who are interested in a life with the Triune God from a some important points of interest. Father Hercsik's essay, "Original Sin, as a Doctrine, Is It Still Relevant Today?" should be of interest to all people of faith.

Hercsik asks the question: "Is there a need for a doctrine on original sin? This doctrine, interpreted according to the Catholic faith, offers an answer to at least four questions that are important to both believers and non-believers: anthropological, philosophical, liturgical, and dogmatic. The article goes on to examine the role of the Sacred Scripture, the position of Saint Augustine, of Saint Thomas Aquinas, and the outcomes of the Council of Trent. In contemporary theology, there exist various tendencies on this theme: original sin as sin of the world, original sin as psychological and/or social phenomena, and original sin and the supremacy of the grace of Christ. 

If you are interested in reading the entire essay, it can be can be read in the Vatican-vetted journal La Civiltà Cattolica 2010 IV, pp. 119-132; issue 3848, © copyright.

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