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Religions 2015, 6(2), 614-625; doi:10.3390/rel6020614

Sin and Addiction: Conceptual Enemies or Fellow Travelers?

Straker Professor of Historical Theology, The Methodist Theological School in Ohio, 3081 Columbus Pike, Delaware, Ohio 43015, USA
Academic Editors: Chris Cook and Wendy Dossett
Received: 26 December 2014 / Revised: 9 April 2015 / Accepted: 29 April 2015 / Published: 11 May 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion & Addiction)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [209 KB, uploaded 11 May 2015]

Abstract

The addiction recovery metaphor of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and the sin/salvation metaphor of Protestant heritage have a lot more in common than people realize. On the surface, of course, it seems that the addiction recovery process is quite the opposite of what is assumed to be a religious approach to addiction. Many assume that religion takes a moralistic or judgmental attitude to addiction, focusing on intentional wrong-doing, lack of will power, or sin, i.e., offending God, self and others. Instead, from a theological perspective, sin and addiction are not the opposites generally assumed. The identification of alienation from God, and the focus on spirituality and healing are core issues for both concepts. Understanding this congruence can facilitate a very productive conversation between theologians, religious believers, and recovering persons. View Full-Text
Keywords: addiction recovery; theology; sin; spirituality; Oxford Group; religion; Protestant; will power; disease; moralism addiction recovery; theology; sin; spirituality; Oxford Group; religion; Protestant; will power; disease; moralism
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Mercadante, L. Sin and Addiction: Conceptual Enemies or Fellow Travelers? Religions 2015, 6, 614-625.

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