AGGRESSION AND SIN: AMBIGUITY IN THEOLOGICAL ANTHROPOLOGY

Rick Benjamins

Abstract


Wolfhart Pannenberg developed a theological anthropology which enables us to
understand acts of violence and aggression. He rejects the traditional doctrine of
man’s original state and fall and tries to reformulate the Christian doctrine of sin.
According to philosophical anthropology man is an exocentrical being, open to the
world, directed outward and constituted by otherness, but at the same time he is selfcentered
and concerned with himself. Pannenberg defines sin as the inevitable
dominancy of man’s self-centeredness over his outward direction. If we take
responsibility for ourselves and acknowledge that we have not yet arrived at our
destiny, which is given in Christ, we can overcome our self-centeredness by means
of an outward directed self-transcendence. Acts of violence and aggression mainly
result from the subject’s failure to open up to the otherness that is constitutive of its
own self, which leads to an offensive self-maintenance.

Keywords


Anthropology, Sin, Original Fall, Aggression

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/102-0-600

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ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)

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