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ECF > Meet the Grantees > Original Sin Redux: A Study in Analytic Theology

Meet the Grantees

This project is supported by The BioLogos Foundation’s Evolution & Christian Faith program. BioLogos does not necessarily endorse the views expressed by the Project Leader(s) or their institution, nor do the Project Leader(s) or their institution necessarily endorse the views expressed by BioLogos.

Original Sin Redux: A Study in Analytic Theology

Fuller Theological Seminary
Professor Oliver Crisp

A major issue in contemporary Christian theology concerns the relationship between an evolutionary account of human origins and the doctrine of original sin. To what extent does a theological account ofthe origin of human sin depend upon the evolution of modern humans from one and only one ancestral pair – especially if that pair does not appear to correspond to what we would think of as modern human beings? How would that complicate our theological stories of human development in light of Scripture? A related issue turns on the extent to which we can we reconstruct a doctrine of original sin wherenature has always been “red in tooth and claw.” This project engages these questions from a theological point of view, offering a contemporary restatement of the doctrine in dialogue with Scripture, the Christian tradition, and contemporary science, philosophy, and theology. It employs an analytic theological method. This is a recent approach to Christian doctrine that utilizes the tools of analytic philosophy for theological purposes. The main output of the project is a book entitled Original Sin Redux, under contract with Oxford University Press. In addition to this research monograph, at least one article is planned that will publish some of the main findings of the book for a more popular audience.The doctrine of original sin is a central and defining theme in Christian thought. This work constitutes a much-needed restatement of the doctrine addressing pressing theological concerns for a contemporary audience.

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