Augustine Original Sin Analysis

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If a great deal of modern thinking goes to redefining the concept of original sin, or lessening the actual sinfulness committed by Adam and Eve, Augustine maintains an absolute conviction that the full responsibility for falling into disgrace belongs to mankind. This view is so consistent, in fact, that Augustine perceives humanity as eternally locked into the shame it initially created. This in turn allows for political and institutional relationships and interpretations; as the enormity of sin arises from humanity 's direct defiance of God, both Church and state must work together to guard against man 's inevitable turning to sinfulness, as it will. It is a stance based on a profound and troubled acceptance of original sin as ongoing,…show more content…
In the following, then, the essay will be illustrated how the the theory of original sin in Genesis 1-3 is interpreted by Augustine; how Augustine 's perceptions of original sin directly apply to the Catholic Church and the Roman Empire; and how and why Elaine Pagels connects Augustine’s reading of Genesis 1 - 3 to define “the politics of…show more content…
She traces Augustine 's personal course of debauchery and misery, identifying this as fueling his implacable insistence on humanity 's need for proper governance. Augustine employs Gen. 3 to demonstrate that all human beings require both spiritual and political discipline(Prof. Guynn, Lecture slide 9), and this is by no means a wholly effective remedy:“One of Augustine’s favorite images for Church leaders … is that of the physician, ministering to those who have been baptized but, like himself, are still sick, each one infected with the same ineradicable disease contracted through Original Sin.”(Elaine Pagels, The Politics of Paradise, pg 89) In short, the wickedness of original sin as enduring and an expression of human error is such that the best that may be hoped for, as Pagels interprets it, as humanity 's best efforts to limit it own unfortunate course. Eventually, Pagels define “Politics of paradise” as “religious insights coincide with political realities and ideological goals.” (Prof. Guynn, Lecture slide 8) In other words, Pagels illustrates Augustine’s idea about denying the isolation of Church in terms of original sin to create a picture of politics involvement. Church should

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