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The Emergence of SinThe Cosmic Tyrant in Romans$
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Matthew Croasmun

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190277987

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190277987.001.0001

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An Emergent Account of Sin in Romans

An Emergent Account of Sin in Romans

(p.102) 4 An Emergent Account of Sin in Romans
The Emergence of Sin

Matthew Croasmun

Oxford University Press

This chapter returns to focus squarely on the text of Romans. The hypothesis that Sin is a mythological person emergent from a complex, multilevel system of human transgression is tested exegetically. The story of Sin is traced through the text of Romans 1–8: Sin emerges from human transgression and exercises dominion over its own body, “the Body of Sin” (Rom 6:6), through setting the boundary conditions of the moral psychology of participants in its systems. Liberationist perspectives on Sin’s working of death through the law are marshaled, yielding further insight into the multilevel function of systemic racism (a case study originally taken up in chapter 2). The question of the transmission of sin in debates about “original sin” is addressed in light of the exegetical insights gleaned from the chapter.

Keywords:   Sin, Romans, dominion, downward causation, law, death, original sin, racism, liberation theology

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