|Detail from The Fall, after 1479, by Hugo van der Goes.|
My response: This article about original sin in the New York Times got my attention!
While I get the positive secular spin on original sin as rooted in the human condition of limitations can help us grow in humility, the theology of original sin developed by St. Augustine and others has inflicted spiritual damage on Christians over the centuries. This toxic theology presents God as an abusive father who sends his son to make up for the sin of Adam and Eve. I believe in original blessing espoused by many thinkers and theologians like Matthew Fox. In this view, we grow in an every evolving awareness of divine, infinite love within creation and within our souls as our ultimate reality. This theology does not deny our human limitations and spiritual failures, but offers hope in ongoing grace and divinity within us and all around us guiding us through the darkness and stumbles on our journey through life.
"Honoring all of creation as Original Blessing, Creation Spirituality integrates the wisdom of Eastern and Western spirituality and global indigenous cultures, with the emerging scientific understanding of the universe,and the passion of creativity. It is both a tradition and a movement, celebrated by mystics and agents of social change from every age and culture.It is also the tradition of the historical Jesus himself since it is the wisdom tradition of Israel." Matthew Fox
New York Times Article: secular understanding of original sin:
"The doctrine of original sin — in religious or secular versions — is an expression of humility, an expression of a resolution to face our own imperfections. In undertaking any such act there is risk. To allow the self-scrutiny required in this act to turn to self-loathing would be debilitating. But a secularized doctrine of original sin, a chastened self-regard, doesn’t entail consigning ourselves to the flames. There is much to affirm in our damaged selves and in our damaged lives, even a sort of dignity and beauty we share in our imperfect awareness of our own imperfection, and our halting attempts to face it, and ourselves."