In a clear and methodical manner Tatha Wiley explores the many dimensions of the conflicting yet fundamental concept of original sin. She explores the Christian origins, patristic developments and medieval interpretations of original sin, then traces the emergence of the idea of original sin, the questions the idea answered, and the development of original sin as a Christian doctrine in the early centuries of Christianity. Finally, she brings the discussion to the present with the modern scientific, historical, and philosophical challenges posed to the doctrine along with contemporary reinterpretations of it. This book is valuable reading for theologians, university and seminary graduate students, and nonprofessionals who may be intrigued by this subject.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
One can trace much of the Western theological tradition to the concept of original sin, and this book is an excellent resource for such studies. Augustine to Anselm, Trent and Luther, Neibuhr to Reuther to Lonergan. The first part of the book is a historical recap up to the 16th century, mostly based upon secondary sources. The second half deals with contemporary authors dealing with the inheretance, no pun intended!
I would suggest Romanides' "The Ancestral Sin" for a more detailed telling which also takes into account the Eastern Church.
Maintaining a firm foundation of Faith today is arduous. Contemporary knowledge and the rigors of disciplined logic render literalism untenable. Tatha Wiley's "Original Sin" was outstanding and repeatedly insightful. I found her exposition and explanation of the evolving concept of Original sin to be highly readable and understandable. Being a child of the (early!) twentieth century I have always had a problem with biblical literalism. Ms. Wiley's book gave me a great basis for understanding a very real concept of Original sin without having to check my brains at the door. Echoing a prior reviewer, my copy of "Original Sin" is copiously and rather wantonly highlighted in technicolor.
Tatha Wiley does a wonderful job in this book of describing the origins of the doctrine of Original Sin and the problems faced by theologians today with the earlier ideas of Augustine and Aquinas, etc. I greatly value the entire book and especially the discussion of Bernard Lonergan's theology. This is obviously a faith affirming and orthodox endeavor. -------- However ----- My subjective response which may be of little or no value to anyone is this --- There was no Original Sin; there was no Fall; and we are not born alienated from God in any way. We don't need magical rituals to "restore" anything that was lost. ---The biblical texts used to support these ideas cannot bear the weight of the theology built on them. . Not at all. ---- And there is no real biblical source of a revelation about Fallen Angels, the Devil etc. This ideas aren't good ideas. ------ We are moving forward morally in a biological world that is unfolding in time. And as Teilhard de Chardin...
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