Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.2 CC-2

[‘A transition from hand-speech talk to speech-alone talk’ both promoted and demoted humans.

On one hand, specializations allowed greater productivity and, even more importantly, cooperation across tribal boundaries. In fact, specializations became a substitute for tribes.

On the other hand, ‘the Lebenswelt that we evolved in’ no longer applies. We can no longer follow our evolved instinctive ordinations.

We are dis-ordinated. We are born into this world with compasses designed for a world that not longer exists.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.2 CC-1

[As an aside, I would like to point out how An Archaeology of the Fall complements Schoonenberg’s classic note on Original Sin.

A transition from hand-speech talk to speech-alone talk potentiated unconstrained complexity.


The intuitive reference of hand-speech talk was replaced by the projected reference of speech-alone talk.

Hand speech talk was an indexal and iconic way of talking. Social specialization was constrained to ‘what could be pointed to or imaged’.

In contrast, speech alone talk, a purely symbolic way of talking, holds no constraints.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.2 CB-2

Summary of text [comment] page 75

Good always entails more than what is attributed to nature alone.

This echoes the doctrine about free will in fallen man promulgated by the Council of Trent. Original Sin unloosed concupiscence. Yet, our free will is by no means taken away, although weakened and inclined to evil.


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.2 CB-1

Summary of text [comment] page 75

Not all acts by sinners are sins. Similarly, not all acts by the justified are virtuous. There is a divine orientation that provides a coordinate system. Perhaps, the word ‘ordination’ applies. That divine ordination may be seen in nature itself.

‘Good without grace’ consists of acts without apparent direction from ‘the divine ordination in nature’ that arises in ‘God Recognizing Himself in Love’.

This good does not derive from the divine virtue of Love, but it disposes one to the reception of love.


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.2 CA

Summary of text [comment] pages 74 and 75

What about the sinner, unable to love or practice virtue?

What does the church say about the life of a “man” who lives in a state of sin?

Grace does not justify. It prepares the way for justification.

Let us take, hypothetically, the extreme case of only two states for man: the state of love and the state of concupiscence. They may be contradict, but they are not closed. There are always moments when the other state calls.

The virtuous may slip downwards, away from love. The sinful may slip upwards, towards love.