The Original Sin in the Christian Tradition and in the Russian Literature

Stefano M. Capilupi


The theme of this research is the vision of original sin held in Eastern and Western Christianity, in the light of the works of Dostoevsky and in the context of Russian religious philosophy (including writers such as Vladimir Solovyov, Vlyacheslav Ivanov, Shestov, Berdyaev, Fedotov, N Fedorov, V Ern, P Evdokimov, S Bulgakov, Florenski, Bakhtin, and Florovsky). In the tradition of Eastern Christianity, I refer to Origen, Maximus the Confessor and Dionysius the Areopagite, and in particular to the following works: Adversus haereses of Irenaeus, Hexaemeron by Basil the Great, De opificio hominis and Oratio catechetica magna by Gregory of Nyssa, and De fide ortodoxa by John of Damascus. Regarding Western Christianity, this paper makes reference to: The treatise on grace and free will by Bernard of Clairvaux, The Summa contra gentiles (Lib. III, caput CXLIII-CLXIII) by Thomas Aquinas, and Libri sententiarum (Lib. II, Distinctiones XXV-XXVII) by Peter Lombard. Particular attention is paid to the theology of the John Duns Scotus regarding the incarnation of God as a possible key concept with which to analyze the relationship between the themes of mortality and transfiguration. Dostoyevsky expresses, at the same time, the dramatic aspect of duality and the possibility of deification of human nature: the intersection between Western and Eastern Christianity in the context of anthropology across Russian-Christian culture  This paper takes these matters into consideration, in connection with the biblical exegesis of the twentieth century. To conclude, Dostoyevsky and Italian writer, Alessandro Manzoni, are considered in relation to the above-mentioned topic.


Sin; Nature; Grace; Anthropology; Salvation; Dualism; Deification;

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