Focus Week Reflection: Is Original Sin Influential? Helpful?

Who could have asked for a better application of Alan Jacobs' cultural history of original sin than a Westmont Focus Week on sexuality?

Attend at least one focus week event (and preferably many more). Show where the category of original sin, or the rivals Jacobs mentions, has been influential, and how it should be.

Write for one of the following audiences: (a) The focus week committee. (b) A student, staff, or faculty friend at the college who has reacted to the Focus Week in some way that invites or deserves your response. (c) Horizon op-ed page readers. (d) The college's executive team. (e) The campus pastor's office. (f) The Religious Studies department.

While your analysis ought to be consistent across these audiences, your suggestions and rhetoric may not be. If necessary, you may address me or your other in-class readers in footnotes, but I hope you can find ways to make those points without resorting to such 'insider' communiques.

You will find Augustine directly helpful, and might find McIntosh and Athanasius helpful too. My goal is to help you draw on theology to approach such teaching events critically, understand them deeply, and improve them with your own informed contributions.

(P.S. Want some entries on original sin from theological dictionaries? Look here, here, here, here, and here.)

Please keep your paper 3-4 pages, double-spaced, and follow the directions in my suggestions for writing papers. Mind the peer review process and guidelines. Remember, I want to see proper style, clear writing, a thorough answer to the question, and explicit citations of course materials.

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