Date of Award

Fall 1995

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Maguire, Daniel

Second Advisor

Duffy, Michael

Third Advisor

Firer Hinze, Christine


Following the Second Vatican Council there developed in catholic social teaching an awareness that the reality of sin was more extensive than the personal sins emphasized in traditional theologies of sin. While the notion of social sin has been widely accepted, there have been relatively few systematic studies of its foundations and the relationship between personal and social sin within a comprehensive theology of sin. The Canadian theologian, Gregory Baum, is one of the few theologians who has developed a concept of personal and social sin from within a continually evolving methodology. Baum's analyses range over the course of his theological development, which shifts from an emphasis on existential concerns to a dialogue with sociology and concentration on societal transformation. Baum's concept of the dialectical relationship between personal and social sin is representative of a growing understanding of personal and social sin as equally essential components of a comprehensive theology of sin. The chief problematic that emerges in Baum's analyses is whether in the transition from viewing sin from within a personal context to that of a societal context, the reality of personal sin and the inherited brokenness of human existence are reduced to socio-political factors with a concurrent secularization of sin, conversion and salvation...



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