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Lesson 11

Social Sin

Social sin occurs when sinful behavior is established as a pattern within a population so that it forms the culture of a people and shapes collective values.

Lesson Vocabulary

  • Social Sin
    (n.): The effect of sin over time which can affect society and its institutions to create structures of sin.
  • Structures of Sin
    (n.): Social situations and institutions that are contrary to the divine goodness that shape a society鈥檚 values and changes its structural ways of living. Structures of sin are the expression and effect of personal sins. They perpetuate sin by leading their victims to do evil in their turn.
  • Conversion
    (n.): A radical reorientation of one鈥檚 whole life away from sin and evil and toward God.
  • Liberation Theology
    (n.): A discredited branch of theology influenced by the Marxist idea that oppression is rooted in certain social structures that must be radically changed 鈥 usually through revolution 鈥 in order to uproot the power structures that exploit the poor. It originated in Latin American in the 1950s.
  • Culture of Death
    (n.): A culture that is so excessively concerned with efficiency that it considers life that is vulnerable, inconvenient, or dependent as disposable.
  • Subsidiarity
    (n.): The organizing principle that matters are best handled by the smallest, lowest, or least centralized authority. A community of a higher order should not interfere with the inner life of a community of a lower order, depriving it of its functions, but should support it in case of need and help integrate it into the larger society, with a view to the common good.
  • Demagoguery
    (n.): The practice of exploiting the fears and prejudices of the ordinary people in a society in order to gain political power in a democracy.
  • Hope
    (n.): The theological virtue by which we desire the Kingdom of God and eternal life and place our trust in all of God's promises to us.
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