Posted on: November 9th, 2007 _Catholicism_ (II): the Fathers on Sin as Individualization

For those of you who have read William Cavanaugh on the rise of the modern nation state, this will sound familiar.

In addition, this comports quite nicely with John Zizioulas’ theology of person (prosopon / hypostasis) in Being and Communion, where he teaches that there is really no such thing as a solitary individual, but only persons, who are always already in relationship with others, imaging the triune life of God.

According to de Lubac, if Adam / the human race was created as an integral whole (thus reflecting the unity of God), as the last post argues, then the fall must mean a shattering of that unity.

Thus, de Lubac shows (pp 33ff) how, according to the Fathers, Adam’s sin is about the break up of the human race as much as anything else.

In discussing the fall of man, de Lubac offers the following quotations:

“Where there is sin, there is multiplicity.” – Origen

“And now, we rend each other like wild beasts.” – Maximus

“Satan has broken us up.” – Cyril of Alexandria

“Adam himself is therefore now spread out over the whole face of the earth. Originally one, he has fallen, and, breaking up as it were, he has filled the whole earth with pieces.” – Augustine

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