Cover of: Original sin | Alan Jacobs

Original sin

a cultural history

1st ed.

Published by HarperOne in New York .
Written in English.

About the Book

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?

Table of Contents

Introduction
Six stories
The African bishop
Some dreadful thing no doubt
The feast of all souls
A few words about the devil
The wicked, but not very
More hateful than vipers
New worlds
The confraternity of the human type
The two-headed calf
In the genes
Afterword
Bibliographical essay

Classifications

Dewey Decimal Class
233/.1409
Library of Congress
BT720 . J33 2008

The Physical Object

Format
Hardcover
Pagination
xviii, 286 p.
Dimensions
24 x x centimeters

ID Numbers

Open Library
OL19930498M
Internet Archive
originalsincultu00jaco
ISBN 10
0060783400
ISBN 13
9780060783402
LC Control Number
2008006582
OCLC/WorldCat
179806901
Library Thing
4950748
Goodreads
2773518
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History

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July 16, 2019 Edited by Clean Up Bot import existing book
July 30, 2014 Edited by ImportBot import new book
July 11, 2014 Edited by Bryan Tyson Edited without comment.
July 11, 2014 Edited by Bryan Tyson Edited without comment.
October 24, 2008 Created by ImportBot Initial record created, from Library of Congress MARC record.