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Publication Date: 21 Apr 2016
Publisher: SPCK Publishing
Page Count: 272
Author: James Boyce
ISBN-13: 9780281076024, 9780281076031

Born Bad

Original Sin And The Making Of The Western Mind
By James Boyce
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ISBN: 9780281076024
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ISBN: 9780281076031
According to the doctrine of original sin, all humans are born bad and only God’s grace can bring salvation. James Boyce shows how these ideas have shaped the Western view of human nature, and how the belief that we are all innately sinful retains a firm grip on Western consciousness and culture – even in the writings of avowed atheists such as Marx and Freud.
Born Bad traces a fascinating journey from Adam and Eve all the way to Adam Smith and Richard Dawkins in this sweeping story of a controversial idea and its remarkable influence.


Part One: Original Sin in Christendom
1. The Father of Original Sin
2. The Contest for the Western Soul
3. The Challenge of the Celts
4. Scholars and Sinners
5. The Forgiveness Industry
6. A Peasant’s World
7. All Shall Be Well
8. The Meaning of Marrying a Nun
9. John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion
10. Spreading the Word
11. The Puritan Foundation of Modern Life
12. Reclaiming Augustine

Part Two: Original Sin in the Modern World
13. A Christian Enlightenment
14. The Perfect Evangelical
15. Celebrating Christian Choice
16. Adam Smith and Market Salvation
17. Imperfect Democracy
18. Original Sin in an Age of Progress
19. Freud and the Science of Self
20. Staying Positive
21. The Selfish Gene
22. Where to for Salvation?
23. Beyond Good or Bad

Appendix: Where Did Original Sin Come From? 198
About the Author
James Boyce is an honorary research associate of the School of Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Tasmania, and a multiple award-winning author.
Press Reviews

Ambitious, thought-provoking … an easy read on an ignored but central and timely topic.

- The Tablet

Born Bad is one of the best books on the history of the evolution of Christianity and its ideology. It is beautifully written and very well argued. This book is a necessary read for all those who are interested in Christianity, its evolution, and its history.

- Washington Book Review

Boyce leads us into new understandings of some of the central figures in Western culture... This is an exceptional, highly recommended work, innovative and creative in surprising ways.

- Publisher's Weekly

A brilliant and exhilarating work of popular scholarship.

- The Washington Post

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