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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: February 2020

7 - Original Sin

Summary

Chapter 7 proposes a new Thomist view of original sin. The core of Thomas’s proposal – that original sin has more to do with the lack of a right relation to the Triune God than the inheritance of personal guilt or corruption – is defensible today. His mature teaching stressing the necessity of supernatural grace for original justice, however, implies that he should have denied that original sin has a necessary connection to Adam’s failure to sexually transmit justice. I propose a “new Thomist view,” on which original sin is the lack of sanctifying grace. Grace is the Father’s gift of the Holy Spirit that orients the person to Jesus Christ. Every infant is born with human nature but called to exist in Christ. I construct this account in dialogue with biblical scholarship and respond to the challenges posed by evolution. I sketch two possible views of the Fall compatible with the new Thomist view of original sin.