Thoughts on Original Sin by Tatha Wiley (2002) 3G

In secondness, the realm of actuality, the Stoic “body” parallels “acts of moral impotence”.

The parallel makes sense in terms of the Pagan Worldview.  The Platonic “body” was not so much “the temple of the soul” as it was the “prison of the soul”.  The Divine World was good and immaterial.  Earthen Matter was evil and a thing to escape.  The goal of the individual was to ascend, to return to the source, and to leave this body behind.

Thus, Augustine’s parallel resonated with his listeners, who had converted from various Pagan religions.  Yet, there was a twist.

He introduced his own version of “concupiscence”.  Instead of the person’s weaknesses coming from the hard knocks of a descending soul accreting a body, they came from a prior descent, the Descent of Adam and Eve.

This removed the spirit-descent and replaced it with “the readily observable consequences of a historical moment”.

It also removed the “soul” as the normal context that animates the “body”.   Concupiscence is “soul-less”.  As soon as one puts an animating principle over “the moral impotence that is the body”, one is constructing a delusion.