Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

William J. Kelly

Second Advisor

Robert A. Wild

Third Advisor

Keith J. Egan

Fourth Advisor

Michael Duffy


Without some clear sense of sin human encounter with division and disorder in the world and in individual lives are ultimately unintelligible. However, since the time of the Second Vatican Council many believers' interest in the topic of sin has declined. In addition the term has come to embrace so many divergent meanings in common parlance that the notion of sin has become well-nigh meaningless. Sometimes it seems to point to a mere imperfection, a trivial mistake or oversight, or a failure to observe some ecclesiastical regulation. It may indicate specific sexual misbehavior or a violation of social justice. At other times sin is defined in purely legalistic or in exclusively philosophical terms. Sin may be described or conceived of as an entirely non-moral entity, the product of the determinants of one's nature and environment. What is most indicative of the contemporary scene is the fact that the notion of sin has become disengaged from its transcendent orientation and meaning. While the fact and experience of sin remain, its meaning, which presumes some reference to the divine, is not always accessible to contemporary people.




Restricted Access Item

Having trouble?