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Sin: A History


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About the Author

Gary A. Anderson is professor of Old Testament/Hebrew Bible in the Department of Theology at the University of Notre Dame.


"This is an elegant, well-argued book, at the heart of which is a scholarly detective story."-Revd Angela Tilby, Church Times

". . . [a] fascinating study . . . Anderson writes in a clear manner . . . [an] engaging study . . . For perspective, breadth, ease-of-access, thoughtfulness and care, Sin: a History is a real gem. It is as intelligent as it is enjoyable to read. I recommend it wholeheartedly . . . the study is truly profound (it might also be said) extraordinarily timely."-Jon Balserak, Evangelical Quarterly

Winner of the 2010 Christianity Today Book Award in the Biblical Studies category sponsored by Christianity Today International

Selected as a Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2010 in the Religion category

"In this highly original study, Gary Anderson draws on a cornucopia of sources (biblical, patristic, rabbinic) to show how different metaphors, e.g. a weight on one's back or a debt to be paid, have shaped the development of Jewish and Christian understandings of sin. Though Anderson ranges far and wide, he never loses sight of the big picture."-Robert Louis Wilken, University of Virginia

"Anderson is developing a new approach to biblical theology, by probing the root metaphors for theological ideas, and tracing their interpretation in postbiblical Judaism and Christianity. This book is important not only for the history of sin, but also for the central theological idea of atonement. An important and original book."-John J. Collins, Holmes Professor of Old Testament, Yale University

"An extraordinary piece of detective work. Anderson shows how the central way of representing-and conceiving of-sin changed dramatically within biblical times, and how this change in turn came to be elaborated in later Judaism and Christianity. This is an extremely important, indeed, mind-changing book for anyone interested in the history of these two religions."-James Kugel, Harvard University

"In an age of psychobabble and 'my bad,' Gary Anderson provides a scholarly, insightful, and needed reminder that 'sin' has been a crucial idea in humanity's moral self-understanding for millennia. Anderson is a master of sources and a gifted writer, ranging widely and knowledgeably over Jewish and Christian biblical and theological materials. A most impressive contribution to the recovery of the moral ballast of our culture."-George Weigel, Ethics and Public Policy Center, Washington, DC

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