Alan Jacobs is one of my favorite writers. Why? He’s an essayist. Which means he quotes everyone and doesn’t tell you where the quotation comes from — you’re supposed to know. Which is a clue to what kind of books Alan Jacobs writes. Imagine Jacobs at place on the Italian Lake Como, say Bellagio, where scholars from all kinds of fields gather. Imagine a nice dinner and then imagine Jacobs standing up to address a group. Serious but light. Not an academic paper; not a sermon; but an address, a talk as it were, about something important, but not full of jargon and not designed for specialists. That’s what we’ve got in his newest book, Original Sin. It will be the next book I blog through in our Friday is for Friends series. I’ll start next week, but I’ll start slowly so you’ve got time to get it and join in on the conversation. The book is accessible, but it’s about a serious topic — original sin. It’s not a book of theology, but a discussion of how various theories of “original sin” have shaped our cultural history. Join us.
The idea/doctrine is:
1. Repulsive to many.
2. Demonstrated according to some by the daily newspaper.
3. Potent in explaining so much of what goes wrong with us and the world.
What do you think the belief in original sin is designed to explain?