The Christian Doctrine of Original Sin:
a Summary of the Historical Development
summarized by Sheila E. Mc Ginn, Ph.D.
19 March 2007

The place of the doctrine of original sin
within the Christian message

The Christian message is essentially a message of God's love for us, of the saving grace of God in Christ. This "good news," however, is addressed to fallen humanity which is in absolute need of God's saving grace (i.e., "original sin" in us as a universal human condition—peccatum originale originatum). This universal condition in which the human person is found prior to any personal decision is due to a primordial sin (peccatum originale originans): God did not create humans sinners; rather, humans, created good and called to communion with God (cf. "original justice"), refused God's call.

Development of the Doctrine of Original Sin

The Bible
Patristic Theology
Main documents of the Early Councils:
Medieval Theology
The Council of Trent
Twentieth-Century Developments
Original Sin and the Beginnings of Human History
(Original Sin and Monogenism)
Synopsis of the Doctrine (and definitions of terms):