Catholic Theological Society of America Annual Congress edition:70 location:Milwaukee, WI, USA date:11-14 June 2015
The narrative of the Fall, later elaborated on as the source of Original Sin, plays a major role for Christian consciousness, praxis, and specifically the doctrine of Creation. Within this narrative we find an important basis for understanding humanity’s fundamental relationship with God and the original finitude of created beings. We will demonstrate that  the rejection of finitude, and not finitude itself, is the source of Original Sin: the will of humanity to be like God, or to replace God in history. This preserves the event-character of Original Sin at the beginning of salvation history. Further reflection on this initial rejection leads to the realization that it is the precondition for recognizing salvation, and sin, within history, and that salvation comes from God, not creation. We will  show the impact of this rejection on the relationship of creation to the Creator, embodied in ideological or idolatrous attempts to control history through both religious and progressivistic narratives. This creates problems for how we envision both religious and scientific ‘truth’. These attempts are inadequate to the challenges posed by reality, which resists our attempts at mastery; we are truly a part of creation. We propose  to retrieve a view of the eschatological relationship between finite humanity and God that balances finitude and sin without conflating them, and in addition, how this view better supports human agency without absolutizing human activity. Human persons and communities are tasked with a particular praxical responsibility, but God remains the ultimate source of salvation.