In this ecumenical era not only churches but cultures are melding, merging, learning from one another and even transposing and trading their distinctive characteristics. For example, Finland, historically Lutheran, has come to exemplify old Catholic understandings and uses of purgatory at a time when the Catholics themselves think and talk less and less about purgatory.
Adam is . . . scattered throughout the globe. Set in one place, he fell and, as it were, broken small, he has filled the whole world. But the Divine Mercy gathered up the fragments from every side, forged them in the fire of love and welded into one what had been broken. . . .
Gary Anderson, professor of Old Testament at the University of Notre Dame, has written an astonishing book that, in ways typical of his work, moves from close textual reading to the widest vistas of interpretation.
Looking back to history to find yet another approach to atonement will not solve the problem, but a reconsideration of the physical or mystical theory of how Christ saves us might contribute to more fruitful and civil conversation.
The seven deadly sins got their name not from the Bible but from ancients of the church. These early Christians listed sins that were at the head (caput) of a column, sins from which others flowed. We translate that concept as “capital sins.” The capital-deadly sins are indeed deadly, and deserve attention.
In a new book on Genesis, Gary A. Anderson focuses not on the textual origin of the story—the customary focus of historical-critical study—but on how the story has been received and retold, imaginatively and liturgically, in Jewish and Christian traditions.