The Shadow Side of Second-Person Engagement: Sin in Paul’s Letter to the Romans

European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 5 (4):125--144 (2013)
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Abstract

This paper explores the characteristics of debilitating versus beneficial intersubjective engagements, by discussing the role of sin in the relational constitution of the self in Paul’s letter to the romans. Paul narrates ”sin’ as both a destructive holding environment and an interpersonal agent in a lethal embrace with human beings. The system of self-in-relation-to-sin is transactional, competitive, unidirectional, and domineering, operating implicitly within an economy of lack. Conversely, Paul’s account in romans of the divine action that moves persons into a new identity of self-in-relationship demonstrates genuinely second-personal qualities: it is loving, non-transactional, non- competitive, mutual, and constitutive of personal agency.

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