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Original Sin: A Cultural History

Hardback|Apr 2008
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$59.99

Essayist and biographer Alan Jacobs introduces us to the world of original sin, which he describes as not only a profound idea but a necessary one. As G. K. Chesterton explains, "Only with original sin can we at once pity...


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Essayist and biographer Alan Jacobs introduces us to the world of original sin, which he describes as not only a profound idea but a necessary one. As G. K. Chesterton explains, "Only with original sin can we at once pity the beggar and distrust the king."Do we arrive in this world predisposed to evil? St. Augustine passionately argued that we do; his opponents thought the notion was an insult to a good God. Ever since Augustine, the church has taught the doctrine of original sin, which is the idea that we are not born innocent, but as babes we are corrupt, guilty, and worthy of condemnation. Thus started a debate that has raged for centuries and done much to shape Western civilization.Perhaps no Christian doctrine is more controversial; perhaps none is more consequential. Blaise Pascal claimed that "but for this mystery, the most incomprehensible of all, we remain incomprehensible to ourselves." Chesterton affirmed it as the only provable Christian doctrine. Modern scholars assail the idea as baleful and pernicious. But whether or not we believe in original sin, the idea has shaped our most fundamental institutions--our political structures, how we teach and raise our young, and, perhaps most pervasively of all, how we understand ourselves. In "Original Sin," Alan Jacobs takes readers on a sweeping tour of the idea of original sin, its origins, its history, and its proponents and opponents. And he leaves us better prepared to answer one of the most important questions of all: Are we really, all of us, bad to the bone?
-Publisher

Essayist and biographer Alan Jacobs introduces us into the world of original sin, which he describes as not only a profound idea but a necessary one. As G.K. Chesterton explains, 'Only with original sin can we at once pity the beggar and distrust the king'. Ever since Augustine, the church has taught the doctrine of original sin, which is the idea that we are not born innocent, but as babes we are corrupt, guilty, and worthy of condemnation. Thus started a debate that has raged at the heart of Western civilization for centuries. Perhaps no Christian doctrine is more controversial; perhaps none is more consequential.For whether or not we believe in original sin, the idea has shaped our most fundamental institutions - our political structures, how we teach and raise our young, and, perhaps most pervasively of all, how we understand ourselves. In "Original Sin", Alan Jacobs takes readers on a sweeping tour of the idea of original sin, its origins, its history, its proponents and opponents. And he leaves us better prepared to answer one of the most important questions of all: are we really, all of us, bad to the bone?
-Publisher

PRODUCT DETAIL
  • Catalogue Code 281960
  • Product Code 0060783400
  • EAN 9780060783402
  • Pages 304
  • Department Academic
  • Category Theology
  • Sub-Category Salvation
  • Publisher Harperone
  • Publication Date Apr 2008
  • Dimensions 237 x 158 x 26mm
  • Weight 0.507kg

Alan Jacobs

Dr Alan Jacobs (Ph.D., University of Virginia) is Professor of English and Director of the Faith and Learning Program at Wheaton College in Illinois. He is the author of award winning books The Narnian: the Life and Imagination of C. S. Lewis (San Francisco: Harper, and London: SPCK, 2005) - winner, Christianity Today 2006 Book Award, History/Biography Category and Winner, 2006 John Pollock Award for Christian Biography with Shaming the Devil: Essays in Truthtelling (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2004).
He is also the author of A Theology of Reading: the Hermeneutics of Love (Boulder and New York: Westview Press, 2001), A Visit to Vanity Fair: Moral Essays on the Present Age (Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2001) Winner, Christianity Today 2002 Book Award, Christianity and Culture category, Looking Before and After: Testimony and the Christian Life (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008) and Original Sin: a Cultural History (San Francisco: Harper/ SPCK 2008).
Koorong-Editorial Review.

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