Sin: The Early History of an Idea  -     By: Paula Fredriksen
Buy Item $31.19 Add To Cart
Add To Wishlist

Sin: The Early History of an Idea

Calif Princeton Fulfilment / 2012 / Hardcover

$31.19 (CBD Price)
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.
CBD Stock No: WW128900

Current Promotions
* This product is not available for expedited shipping.
  • Other Formats (2)
Other Formats (2)
  1. Usually ships in 24-48 hours.
    Add To Cart
  2. In Stock
    Retail: $16.95
    Add To Cart

Product Description

Ancient Christians invoked sin to account for an astonishing range of things, from the death of God's son to the politics of the Roman Empire that worshipped him. In Sin: The Early History of an Idea, award-winning historian of religion Paula Fredriksen tells the surprising story of early Christian concepts of sin, exploring the ways that sin came to shape ideas about God no less than about humanity.

Long before Christianity, of course, cultures had articulated the idea that human wrongdoing violated relations with the divine. But Sin tells how, in the fevered atmosphere of the four centuries between Jesus and Augustine, singular new Christian ideas about sin emerged in rapid and vigorous variety, including the momentous shift from the belief that sin is something one does to something that one is born into.

As the original defining circumstances of their movement quickly collapsed, early Christians were left to debate the causes, manifestations, and remedies of sin. This is a powerful and original account of the early history of an idea that has centrally shaped Christianity and left a deep impression on the secular world as well.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 248
Vendor: Calif Princeton Fulfilment
Publication Date: 2012
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0691128901
ISBN-13: 9780691128900
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.

Related Products

  1. Not the Way It's Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin
    Not the Way It's Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin
    Cornelius Plantinga Jr.
    Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. / 1995 / Trade Paperback
    $13.49 Retail: $22.00 Save 39% ($8.51)
    5 Stars Out Of 5 1 Reviews
    Availability: Expected to ship on or about 09/03/15.
    CBD Stock No: WW42186
  2. Original Sin: A Cultural History
    Original Sin: A Cultural History
    Alan Jacobs
    HarperCollins / 2009 / Trade Paperback
    $10.99 Retail: $14.99 Save 27% ($4.00)
    Availability: In Stock
    CBD Stock No: WW872571
  3. Original Sin: Illuminating the Riddle (New Studies in Biblical Theology)
    Original Sin: Illuminating the Riddle (New Studies in Biblical Theology)
    Henri Blocher
    InterVarsity Press / 2001 / Trade Paperback
    $15.99 Retail: $22.00 Save 27% ($6.01)
    Availability: In Stock
    CBD Stock No: WW26051
  4. Sin
    Hugh Connolly
    Continuum International / 2002 / Trade Paperback
    Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.
    CBD Stock No: WW51842


Paula Fredriksen's new book offers a masterfully clear and readable exposition of complex issues, showing how traditional Jewish views of sin were transmuted by the Christian theologians Origen and Augustine in nearly opposite ways, to create startlingly different views of human nature.
Elaine Pagels,
author of The Origin of Satan

Paula Fredriksen's Sin is a gripping book on an immense theme. Fredriksen makes us realize that what is at stake is not simply 'sin' (as we usually think of it) but what it is to be human, to live in a material universe, and to expect redemption from a God of many faces. To follow the idea of sin from figures such as John the Baptist, Jesus of Nazareth, and Paul of Tarsus, through the Gnostics to Origen and Augustine is to travel along the high peaks of religious thought in the ancient world. It is a magnificent ride.
Peter Brown,
Princeton University

In Sin, Paula Fredriksen takes readers on a lively trip through the early Christian theological landscape, making strategic stops that clarify divergent convictions about sin and redemption. This is a book that offers surprises as well as startling illumination.
Karen L. King,
author of The Secret Revelation of John

Writing with verve and flair, Fredriksen makes a complex subject accessible to general readers. Few scholars are able to handle both New Testament and early Christian sources as clearly and effectively as Fredriksen.
Anne McGuire,
Haverford College

Publisher's Weekly

In her characteristically brisk and engaging prose, Fredriksen (Augustine and the Jews) explores the evolution of the idea of sin in the first four centuries of Christianity, asking hard questions about what various ideas of sin tell us about the corresponding ideas of God and humanity. Focusing on seven figures—Jesus, Paul, Marcion, Justin, Valentinus, Origen, and Augustine—she examines the ways that these bearers or writers of the early Christian message answered such questions as who is saved from sin, and how, as well as the ways that sin defines redemption. For Jesus and his hearers, sin is “Jewish” sin, such as breaking the commandments, and Jesus teaches that repentance, especially as practiced in the ideal teachings in the Sermon on the Mount, restores Jews to good relationships with their neighbors and with God. For Valentinus and Justin, though in different ways, sin is a function of ignorance; sinners sin because they do not know God’s will, both a cause and effect of not reading scripture with spiritual insight. Fredriksen’s eloquent study traces the early development of the idea of sin, illustrating the intricate patterns woven by the many colorful threads of culture and religion and the ways that those patterns influence contemporary Christian religion. (July) 2012 Reed Business Information

Product Reviews

Be the first to write a review!

Ask Christianbook


Ask Christianbook

What would you like to know about this product? Please enter your name, your email and your question regarding the product in the fields below, and we'll answer you in the next 24-48 hours.

If you need immediate assistance regarding this product or any other, please call 1-800-CHRISTIAN to speak directly with a customer service representative.


Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.

Find Related Products

Author/Artist Review

Start A New Search