Sin: A History

Sin: A History

by Gary A. Anderson
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0300149891

ISBN-13: 9780300149890

Pub. Date: 09/29/2009

Publisher: Yale University Press

What is sin? Is it simply wrongdoing? Why do its effects linger over time? In this sensitive, imaginative, and original work, Gary Anderson shows how changing conceptions of sin and forgiveness lay at the very heart of the biblical tradition. Spanning nearly two thousand years, the book brilliantly demonstrates how sin, once conceived of as a physical burden,

Overview

What is sin? Is it simply wrongdoing? Why do its effects linger over time? In this sensitive, imaginative, and original work, Gary Anderson shows how changing conceptions of sin and forgiveness lay at the very heart of the biblical tradition. Spanning nearly two thousand years, the book brilliantly demonstrates how sin, once conceived of as a physical burden, becomes, over time, eclipsed by economic metaphors. Transformed from a weight that an individual carried, sin becomes a debt that must be repaid in order to be redeemed in God's eyes.

Anderson shows how this ancient Jewish revolution in thought shaped the way the Christian church understood the death and resurrection of Jesus and eventually led to the development of various penitential disciplines, deeds of charity, and even papal indulgences. In so doing it reveals how these changing notions of sin provided a spur for the Protestant Reformation.

Broad in scope while still exceptionally attentive to detail, this ambitious and profound book unveils one of the most seismic shifts that occurred in religious belief and practice, deepening our understanding of one of the most fundamental aspects of human experience.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300149890
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
09/29/2009
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Abbreviations xiii

Part 1 Introducing the problem

Chapter 1 What is a Sin? 3

Chapter 2 A Burden to be Borne 15

Chapter 3 A Debt to be Repaid 27

Part 2 making payment on one's debt

Chapter 4 Redemption and the Satisfaction of Debts 43

Chapter 5 Ancient Creditors, Bound Laborers, and the Sanctity of the Land 55

Chapter 6 Lengthening the Term of Debt 75

Chapter 7 Loans and the Rabbinic Sages 95

Chapter 8 Early Christian Thinking on the Atonement 111

Part 3 balancing debts with virtue

Chapter 9 Redeem Your Sins with Alms 135

Chapter 10 Salvation by Works? 152

Chapter 11 A Treasury in Heaven 164

Chapter 12 Why God Became Man 189

Notes 203

General Index 237

Index of Ancient Sources 244

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