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  4. The Gravity of Sin: Augustine, Luther and Barth on 'homo incurvatus in se'

The Gravity of Sin: Augustine, Luther and Barth on 'homo incurvatus in se', 1st edition

  • Matt Jenson

Published by T & T Clark International (April 8th 2007) - Copyright © 2007

1st edition

The Gravity of Sin: Augustine, Luther and Barth on 'homo incurvatus in se'

ISBN-13: 9780567031389

Includes: Paperback

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What's included

  • Paperback

    You'll get a bound printed text.


Matt Jenson¿argues¿that the image of being 'curved in on oneself' is the best paradigm for understanding sin relationally, that it has sufficient explanatory breadth and depth to be of service to contemporary Christian theology.¿He looks to Augustine as the Christian source for this image in his various references to humanity's turn to itself, though the threads of a relational account of sin are not drawn together with any systematic consequence until Martin Luther's description of 'homo incurvatus in se' in his commentary on Romans. Luther radicalizes Augustine's conception by applying this relational view of sin to the totus homo and by emphasizing its appearance, above all, in homo religiosus. The Western tradition of sin understood paradigmatically as pride has been recently called into question by feminist theologians. Daphne Hampson's critique of Luther on this front is considered and critiqued. Though she is right to call attention to the insufficiency of his and Augustine's myopic focus on pride, the question remains whether 'incurvatus in se' can operate paradigmatically as an umbrella concept covering a far wider range of sins. Karl Barth's extension of 'incurvatus in se' to apply more broadly to pride, sloth and falsehood suggests that incurvature can do just that.

Table of contents

1. Augustine's inward turn: An ambiguous beginning
Love makes the city
The goodness of the garden
Participation and relationality
Civic foundations
What happened? The beginning of sin
Falling into slavery
The call to humility
Augustine's ambiguous inwardness in The Trinity
A conclusion
2. Luther's radical and religious invurvature
Setting the task
Simus iustus et peccator
Fuel to the fire: The persistence of the fomes
Copernicux Redux
The logic of person and works
Totus homo? The postures of death and spirit
Incurvatus in se as ignorance: The critique of natural understanding
Using, enjoying: Incurvatus in se as egoism
Homo religiosus as Homo incurvatus in se
The violation of vocation: Transgressing the limits of calling
Conclusion: Augustine versus Luther?
3. (How) Do women sin? Daphne Hampson and the Feminist critique of Luther
Hampson's critique of Luther on sin, incurvatus in se and the self
Hampson's alternative
Transition: Key questions
Problems with a gendered approach to sin
Hampson's account of sin per se and the controlling factor of continuity
On the explanatory sufficiency of incurvatus in se
4. Broadening the range of the metaphor: Barth's threefold description of sin
A brief apology for paradigms
Sin Christologically defined
Humanity through a Christological lens: A closer look
Sin as pride
Sin as falsehood
Sin as sloth
Hampson and Barth: A tale of two sloths
Select Bibliography

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