The Transmission of Sin: Augustine and the Pre-Augustinian Sources

Hardcover | April 2, 2013

byPier Franco Beatrice

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Originally published in Italian in 1978, The Transmission of Sin is a study of the origins of the doctrine of original sin, one of the most important teachings of the Catholic Church. While the doctrine has a basis in biblical sources, it found its classic expression in the work of St.Augustine. Yet Augustine did not work out his theory on the basis of the biblical texts alone, rather he sought to understand them in the context of the religious thinking of his own time. Pier Franco Beatrice's work seeks to illuminate that context, and discover the post-biblical influences onAugustine's thought. Although he made considerable efforts to defend and elaborate the doctrine of hereditary guilt, says Beatrice, the doctrine already existed before Augustine and was in fact widespread in the Christianity of the time, particularly in the West. He locates its origins in Egypt in the second half of thesecond century CE, in Jewish-Christian circles that saw sexual congress as the source of the physical and moral corruption that afflicts all humans. In reaction to this extreme view, which rejected marriage and procreation as inherently evil, other theologians developed a more moderate position,recognizing only personal sin, which could not be inherited. Beatrice argues that Augustine's doctrine exemplified a synthesis of these two trends which would ultimately triumph as the orthodox Catholic position.

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Originally published in Italian in 1978, The Transmission of Sin is a study of the origins of the doctrine of original sin, one of the most important teachings of the Catholic Church. While the doctrine has a basis in biblical sources, it found its classic expression in the work of St.Augustine. Yet Augustine did not work out his theor...

Pier Franco Beatrice is Professor of Classics and Religious Studies at the University of Padua. Adam Kamesar is Professor of Judaeo-Hellenistic Literature at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, OH.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:April 2, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199751412

ISBN - 13:9780199751419

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Table of Contents

Preface to the English EditionTranslator's NoteAbbreviationsIntroductionPart I: The Doctrine of Original Sin in Its Augustinian Formulation1. The Pelagian Critique of the Doctrine of Original Sin2. Original Sin and Its Consequences3. The Essence and Transmission of Original Sin4. Infant Baptism and Original SinPart II: The Biblical and Patristic Tradition according to Augustine5. The Biblical Testimonia6. Sin and Death in the Theology of Paul7. Augustine and Ambrosiaster8. Ambrose and Cyprian, Masters of Augustine9. Chrysostom, Augustine, and the PelagiansPart III: The Origin and Development of the 'Augustinian' Doctrine of Original Sin10. The 'Legacy of Adam' in Greek Theology from the Second to the Fourth Century11. The Encratite Origin of the 'Augustinian' Doctrine of Original Sin12. The Concept of Original Sin as Popular and Manichean Heresy13. Traducianism, Original Sin, and Infant Baptism in the West14. Rome and Carthage: Two Traditions ComparedConclusion: Towards a New History of the Augustinian Doctrine of Original SinBibliographySupplement to the Bibliography (2011)