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The Transmission of SinAugustine and the Pre-Augustinian Sources$
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Pier Franco Beatrice

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199751419

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199751419.001.0001

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Infant Baptism and Original Sin

Infant Baptism and Original Sin

(p.77) 4 Infant Baptism and Original Sin
The Transmission of Sin

Pier Franco Beatrice

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines Augustine's thought on the connection between infant baptism and original sin. For Augustine, children are born with original sin. This straightforward statement is based on three kinds of consideration. The first is that the physical generation of man is caused by the diabolical goad of desire or carnal concupiscence, on account of which original sin is transmitted from parent to child together with the defiled seed. The second kind of consideration has to do with newborns' condition of vulnerability and the distress and pains to which they are subject by the very fact of coming into the world. The third kind of consideration that Augustine exploits in order to demonstrate the existence of original sin in children is taken from the baptismal practice of exorcism and exsufflation.

Keywords:   original sin, St. Augustine, baptism, infants, Pelagians, desire, concupiscence, exorcism, exsufflation

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