original sin in Eastern Orthodoxy/Eastern Catholicism...
#11
(07-25-2012, 10:44 PM)Silouan Wrote: "Although it is proper to each individual, original sin does not have the character of a personal fault in any of Adam's descendants. It is a deprivation of original holiness and justice, but human nature has not been totally corrupted: it is wounded in the natural powers proper to it, subject to ignorance, suffering and the dominion of death, and inclined to sin - an inclination to evil that is called concupiscence". Baptism, by imparting the life of Christ's grace, erases original sin and turns a man back towards God, but the consequences for nature, weakened and inclined to evil, persist in man and summon him to spiritual battle."

So, even though we do not have personal fault or capability, we still suffer and are under the "dominion of death" until baptized.
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#12
Right. On Catholic Answers a poster explained that what we inherit is not culpa, fault, but reatus, debt, which makes sense of the apparent conflict and harmonizes the perspectives, also explaining some of the mutual accusations of heresy.

However, I am really struggling with the notion nonetheless. I'm not sure it's just, even in civil society, for a debt to be passed down further than one generation, if that. How could it be just for a debt to be passed down perpetually? God is not unjust. I suppose I prefer the OS-as-disease rather than OS-as-debt perspective, though I am aware that the latter is explicitly taught in Scripture and Councils. Not sure what to do with myself or how to find peace with this issue...
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#13
Quote:I suppose I prefer the OS-as-disease rather than OS-as-debt perspective

What's wrong with the OS-as-disease perspective? I'm not sure disease implies "a character of personal fault," which is denied as passing - as is pointed out. I think you're being too hard on yourself, unless I am totally missing something.
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#14
(07-26-2012, 05:37 PM)elizabee Wrote: Right. On Catholic Answers a poster explained that what we inherit is not culpa, fault, but reatus, debt, which makes sense of the apparent conflict and harmonizes the perspectives, also explaining some of the mutual accusations of heresy.

However, I am really struggling with the notion nonetheless. I'm not sure it's just, even in civil society, for a debt to be passed down further than one generation, if that. How could it be just for a debt to be passed down perpetually? God is not unjust. I suppose I prefer the OS-as-disease rather than OS-as-debt perspective, though I am aware that the latter is explicitly taught in Scripture and Councils. Not sure what to do with myself or how to find peace with this issue...


So to whom is that debt owed?
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#15
I think one of the difficulties here is that original sin really strikes against our own self-conceptions. It does not fit in with our idea of the "buffered self," as Charles Taylor called it. The doctrine acknowledges that I am not a self-contained whole, but instead that I always am together with others and have this as a primordial aspect of my being. I also think it is important to remember here that Adam as the first man stands as a sort of representative for mankind, containing human nature within himself. All future humans participate in this nature, so when Adam alters his nature in the Fall, it does not just affect him, but also all other humans, who participate in that nature. So, I think it needs to be kept in mind that the idea of original sin is coming from a more relational and participatory point of view.

Another aspect of the problem is how, for St. Paul and the Fathers, Adam and the Fall are always viewed through the lens of Christology. Christ is the new Adam. And if it makes sense to say that Christ stands as the leader of man who redeems him and leads him back to God, then I think Adam's leading us away from God in the Fall also makes sense. Consider also that a person is able to be incorporated into the Body of Christ, and thus participate in his saving action, through the Eucharist. Reception of the Eucharist begins to deify us, which means that we are, in a sense, participating in Christ. This is what allows us to be saved by his crucifixion. In this case, we can only participate in Christ through grace, but since Adam held within himself our essential nature, we just participate in his nature, and thus his alteration of that nature in the Fall, naturally, without really doing anything other than existing, though of course even this is "graced," in a sense.

Also, there really is no essential difference between the Eastern and Western view here. The difference is really only a matter of emphasis owing to different historical circumstances. The East focuses on original sin giving the world over to death and the devil, while the West focuses more on the offense to God's honor that must be rectified, but these are only two sides of the same coin. The Orthodox theologian David Bentley Hart explains this well in his discussion of St. Anselm in The Beauty of the Infinite.
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