The Augustinian theory is contrasted with that of Aquinas, which holds a view of human nature as damaged by the Fall, but not radically perverted, and with the later hypothetical model of a ‘state of pure nature’, as developed by the Spanish theologian Suárez. Seventeenth-century Augustinian accounts are discussed: Senault stresses, like Augustine, that the whole fabric of the world has been corrupted by Adam and Eve’s sin; Pascal focuses on human nature alone, developing a vision of its contradictions, which only the Christian revelation can illuminate; Malebranche seeks to integrate Augustinian theology with Cartesian philosophy, showing how the dualistic mind-body theory can illuminate the enigma of the transmission of original sin from one generation of human beings to the next.
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