Date of Award

Summer 6-17-2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Religious Studies

First Advisor

Louis A. Ruprecht, Jr.


This reception history of “original sin” displays how the theological conception developed as an idea throughout Western Christianity. This paper performs a critical and in-depth reading of the creation story from Genesis 3 and provides six thematic questions that are discussed through the various interpretations of four major thinkers: Augustine of Hippo, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, and Friedrich Nietzsche. These four thinkers show how “original sin” has never been as established or canonical within Western Christianity as many have characterized it.