Original Sin

Apple on the tree of knowledge

Tim Mossholder (CC0)

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Original Air Date: 
February 05, 2017

A garden, a tree, an apple and a serpent.  The story of Adam and Eve is as old as sin.  But it’s a lot more than a Bible story. The doctrine of original sin shaped Christianity but also left its mark on everything from gun control to how we vote. In this episode, we consider the impact of original sin on politics, capitalism, psychology and beyond. 


Robert Leonard, a radio news director in Pella, Iowa, argues that behind all the issues we argue about today there's an even more fundamental divide. Could a 1500-year-old Christian doctrine really have that much effect on lives and politics today?

Reflection on beach

In a new book called "Born Bad," historian James Boyce argues that the concept of original sin is the foundation of Western thought. 

Original blessing

For theologist Danielle Shroyer, what happened in the Garden of Eden is a story of original blessing. 

Lone tree

Laird Hunt has written what is really three stories wrapped around each other: A famous lynching in Marion, the story of a song about it, “Strange Fruit,” and a new novel, which begins on that terrible day. 

Show Details 📻
September 16, 2017
February 05, 2017
August 25, 2018
July 27, 2019
News Director, KNIA/KRLS Knoxville/Pella Iowa
Black and white portrait photo of James Boyce
Black and white portrait photo of Laird Hunt
Last modified: 
October 20, 2020