Encyclopedia of Sciences and Religions

2013 Edition
| Editors: Anne L. C. Runehov, Lluis Oviedo

Sin (Vice, Human Limits, Negativity)

  • Jay R. Feierman
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-8265-8_1372

Related Terms

 Evil;  Human limits;  Morality;  Punishment;  Vice

Most current societies have lists of morally right and wrong actions that are often sanctioned or supported by a deity (God, superior being, force, or agency) capable of causing retribution (Lyman 1989). In societies with salvation religion, being out of favor with the deity may make one ineligible for salvation (Coward 2003). In some current societies, these immoral actions are restricted to overt behaviors. Sin may be viewed as reality, even embodied, next to the concept of evil; more frequently, it is an attribution, a way to qualify an act or behavior. In some societies, sin is against other people. In other societies, it is against the deity. Most societies have degrees of sin. All societies have ways or means of being relieved from sin (Ensor 1997). In some societies, sin is an act; in other societies, it is a state from which one has to be relieved to be in good standing or to be in a state of grace with a deity.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of New MexicoCorralesUSA