The Fall to Violence: Original Sin in Relational Theology
In this book, Suchocki argues that the condition of "original sin" is not primarily a "rebellion against God," but a "rebellion against creation." Sin is action that, whether intentionally or not, contributes to the ill-being of earth or its inhabitants. Its underlying root is not "pride," but a triadic structure that involves (1) a human bent toward aggression that easily tends toward violence; (2) the solidarity of human beings with one another and their environing world, so that to some degree each participates in the plight of all; and (3) social structures that invariably influence the consciousness and conscience of participants in those structures.
Given these three factors, to be human is necessarily to be a participant in conditions that make for ill-being as well as well-being. Suchocki concludes her discussion with an interpretation of forgiveness as willing the well-being of victim and violator in the fullest possible knowledge of the nature of the violence. Forgiveness, or living and acting from the will toward well-being, breaks the chain of violence, answering sin with grace.
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ability abuse aggression Alfred North Whitehead anxiety aspect Augustinian beauty become boundaries capacity chapter Christian complex condition consciousness constitutes context continuing created creative creature criterion of well-being culture death developed divine dynamic effect Eibl-Eibesfeldt emerges empathy entails entity evil existence existential anxiety experience fact faith feelings of guilt feels the world finitude forgiveness freedom human ill-being imagination individual infinity influence Insofar institutions interdependence intersubjectivity involved Irenaeus knowledge lence limits live Marjorie Hewitt Suchocki means mediated memory mode murder nature necessarily Niebuhr norms one's oneself original original sin participate past perspectival perspective possible present pride psychic race racism Rauschenbusch reality rebellion against creation rebellion against God Reinhold Niebuhr relational world relationships response self-transcendence sense sensuousness sexism simply sinners sins social Social Gospel society solidarity Sophie spirit structures theology things tion transcendence transformation truth universe victim and violator Viktor Frankl violence vision