Volume 126, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163


In order to modify a well-known thesis that relates early modern notions of original sin to the development of science, this article compares the views of Augustine and Melanchthon on original sin, on knowledge in general, and on the importance of natureknowledge in particular. Both Augustine and Melanchthon make man fully responsible for his sinfulness, but Augustine does this by placing sin wholly in the immaterial soul, whereas Melanchthon implicates the body in human sinfulness. Both agree that knowledge does not bring salvation, but that it does bring discipline; while for Augustine this function depends on knowledge being not about the external world but about eternal truths, according to Melanchthon the methodical study of nature provides us with important insight into our sinfulness. This difference is crucial to their evaluation of specific scientific disciplines.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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