Monday, March 14, 2011

The Seven Sins & Virtues

Seven deadly sins

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The Seven Deadly Sins, also known as the Capital Vices or Cardinal Sins, is a classification of objectionable vices that have been used since early Christian times to educate and instruct followers concerning fallen humanity's tendency to sin. The currently recognized version of the list is usually given as anger, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony.
The Catholic Church divides sin into two categories: "venial sins", which are relatively minor and can be forgiven through any sacramentals or sacraments of the Church (as well as through prayer and acts of charity), and the more severe "grave" or mortal sins. Theologically, a mortal sin is believed to destroy the life of grace within the person and thus creates the threat of eternal damnation. "Mortal sin, by attacking the vital principle within us - that is, charity - necessitates a new initiative of God's mercy and a conversion of heart which is normally accomplished [for Catholics] within the setting of the sacrament of reconciliation."[1]
The Deadly Sins do not belong to an additional category of sin. Rather, they are the sins that are seen as the origin ("capital" comes from the Latin caput, head) of the other sins. A "deadly sin" can be either venial or mortal, depending on the situation; but "they are called 'capital' because they engender other sins, other vices."[2]
Beginning in the early 14th century, the popularity of the seven deadly sins as a theme among European artists of the time eventually helped to ingrain them in many areas of Catholic culture and Catholic consciousness in general throughout the world. One means of such ingraining was the creation of the mnemonic "SALIGIA" based on the first letters in Latin of the seven deadly sins: superbia, avaritia, luxuria, invidia, gula, ira, acedia.[3]



Biblical Lists

In the Book of Proverbs, it is stated that the Lord specifically regards "six things the Lord hateth, and the seventh His soul detesteth." namely:[4]
  • A proud look.
  • A lying tongue.
  • Hands that shed innocent blood.
  • A heart that devises wicked plots.
  • Feet that are swift to run into mischief.
  • A deceitful witness that uttereth lies.
  • Him that soweth discord among brethren
While there are seven of them, this list is considerably different from the traditional one, with only pride clearly being in both lists.
Another list, given this time by the Epistle to the Galatians (Galatians 5:19-21), includes more of the traditional seven sins, although the list is substantially longer: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, "and such like".[5] Since Saint Paul goes on to say that the persons who commit these sins "shall not inherit the Kingdom of God", they are usually listed as (possible) mortal sins rather than Capital Vices.

Development of the Traditional Seven Sins

The modern concept of the Seven Deadly Sins is linked to the works of the 4th century monk Evagrius Ponticus, who listed eight evil thoughts in Greek as follows:[6]
  • Γαστριμαργία (gastrimargia)
  • Πορνεία (porneia)
  • Φιλαργυρία (philargyria)
  • Λύπη (lypē)
  • Ὀργή (orgē)
  • Ἀκηδία (akēdia)
  • Κενοδοξία (kenodoxia)
  • Ὑπερηφανία (hyperēphania)
They were translated into the Latin of Western Christianity, thus becoming part of the Catholic tradition's spiritual pietas (or Catholic devotions), as follows:[7]
These 'evil thoughts' can be collected into three groups:[7]
  • lustful appetite (Gluttony, Fornication, and Avarice)
  • irascibility (Anger)
  • intellect (Vainglory, Sorrow, Pride, and Discouragement)
In AD 590, a little over two centuries after Evagrius wrote his list, Pope Gregory I revised this list[citation needed] to form the more common Seven Deadly Sins, by folding sorrow/despair into acedia, vainglory into pride, and substituting luxuria (lust/lechery) for fornicatio and adding envy. In the order used by both Pope Gregory and by Dante Alighieri in his epic poem The Divine Comedy, the seven deadly sins are as follows:
  1. luxuria (lechery/lust)[8][9][10]
  2. gula (gluttony)
  3. avaritia (avarice/greed)
  4. acedia (acedia/discouragement)
  5. ira (wrath)
  6. invidia (envy)
  7. superbia (pride)
The identification and definition of the seven deadly sins over their history has been a fluid process and the idea of what each of the seven actually encompasses has evolved over time. Additionally, as a result of semantic change:
It is this revised list that Dante uses. The process of semantic change has been aided by the fact that the personality traits are not collectively referred to, in either a cohesive or codified manner, by the Bible itself; other literary and ecclesiastical works were instead consulted, as sources from which definitions might be drawn.[citation needed] Part II of Dante's Divine Comedy, Purgatorio, has almost certainly been the best known source since the Renaissance.[citation needed]
The modern Roman Catholic Catechism lists the sins in Latin as "superbia, avaritia, invidia, ira, luxuria, gula, pigritia seu acedia", with an English translation of "pride, avarice, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony, and sloth/acedia".[11] Each of the seven deadly sins now also has an opposite among corresponding seven holy virtues (sometimes also referred to as the contrary virtues). In parallel order to the sins they oppose, the seven holy virtues are humility, charity, kindness, patience, chastity, temperance, and diligence.

Historical and modern definitions of the deadly sins


Lust or lechery (carnal "luxuria") is usually thought of as excessive thoughts or desires of a sexual nature. Aristotle's criterion was excessive love of others, which therefore rendered love and devotion to God as secondary[citation needed]. In Dante's Purgatorio, the penitent walks within flames to purge himself of lustful/sexual thoughts and feelings. In Dante's "Inferno", unforgiven souls of the sin of lust are blown about in restless hurricane-like winds symbolic of their own lack of self control to their lustful passions in earthly life.


(Albert Anker, 1896)
Derived from the Latin gluttire, meaning to gulp down or swallow, gluttony (Latin, gula) is the over-indulgence and over-consumption of anything to the point of waste. In the Christian religions, it is considered a sin because of the excessive desire for food or its withholding from the needy.[12]
Depending on the culture, it can be seen as either a vice or a sign of status. Where food is relatively scarce, being able to eat well might be something to take pride in. But in an area where food is routinely plentiful, it may be considered a sign of self-control to resist the temptation to over-indulge.
Medieval church leaders (e.g., Thomas Aquinas) took a more expansive view of gluttony,[12] arguing that it could also include an obsessive anticipation of meals, and the constant eating of delicacies and excessively costly foods.[13] Aquinas went so far as to prepare a list of six ways to commit gluttony, including:
  • Praepropere - eating too soon.
  • Laute - eating too expensively.
  • Nimis - eating too much.
  • Ardenter - eating too eagerly (burningly).
  • Studiose - eating too daintily (keenly).
  • Forente - eating wildly (boringly).


1909 painting The Worship of Mammon by Evelyn De Morgan.
Greed (Latin, avaritia), also known as avarice or covetousness, is, like lust and gluttony, a sin of excess. However, greed (as seen by the church) is applied to a very excessive or rapacious desire and pursuit of wealth, status, and power. St. Thomas Aquinas wrote that greed was "a sin against God, just as all mortal sins, in as much as man condemns things eternal for the sake of temporal things." In Dante's Purgatory, the penitents were bound and laid face down on the ground for having concentrated too much on earthly thoughts. "Avarice" is more of a blanket term that can describe many other examples of greedy behavior. These include disloyalty, deliberate betrayal, or treason,[citation needed] especially for personal gain, for example through bribery. Scavenging[citation needed] and hoarding of materials or objects, theft and robbery, especially by means of violence, trickery, or manipulation of authority are all actions that may be inspired by greed. Such misdeeds can include simony, where one profits from soliciting goods within the actual confines of a church.
As defined outside of Christian writings, greed is an inordinate desire to acquire or possess more than one needs, especially with respect to material wealth.[14]


Over time, the "acedia" in Pope Gregory's order has come to be closer in meaning to sloth (Latin, Socordia). The focus came to be on the consequences of acedia rather than the cause, and so, by the 17th century, the exact deadly sin referred to was believed to be the failure to utilize one's talents and gifts.[citation needed] Even in Dante's time there were signs of this change; in his Purgatorio he had portrayed the penance for acedia as running continuously at top speed.
The modern view goes further, regarding laziness and indifference as the sin at the heart of the matter. Since this contrasts with a more willful failure to, for example, love God and his works, sloth is often seen as being considerably less serious than the other sins, more a sin of omission than of commission.


Acedia (Latin, acedia) (from Greek ακηδία) is the neglect to take care of something that one should do. It is translated to apathetic listlessness; depression without joy. It is similar to melancholy, although acedia describes the behaviour, while melancholy suggests the emotion producing it. In early Christian thought, the lack of joy was regarded as a wilful refusal to enjoy the goodness of God and the world God created; by contrast, apathy was considered a refusal to help others in time of need.
When Thomas Aquinas described acedia in his interpretation of the list, he described it as an uneasiness of the mind, being a progenitor for lesser sins such as restlessness and instability. Dante refined this definition further, describing acedia as the failure to love God with all one's heart, all one's mind and all one's soul; to him it was the middle sin, the only one characterised by an absence or insufficiency of love.


Despair (Latin, Tristitia) In this context, Despair is the precipitating cause of suicide. Feelings of hopelessness, despondency, pessimism and impending doom, were not the same as the condition, melancholy. "If the man be bereft, give him solace. If he be in physical torment, give him medicine. If he be to the desire of death, give him hope. Reason, encouragement, and faith bring hope, therefore, use them liberally." (Francis of Assisi). Since sadness often results in acedia, Pope Gregory's revision of the list subsumed Despair into Acedia.


Wrath (Latin, ira), also known as anger or "rage", may be described as inordinate and uncontrolled feelings of hatred and anger. Anger, in its purest form, presents with self-destructiveness, violence, and hate that may provoke feuds that can go on for centuries. Anger may persist long after the person who did another a grievous wrong is dead. Feelings of anger can manifest in different ways, including impatience, revenge, and vigilantism.
Wrath is the only sin not necessarily associated with selfishness or self-interest (although one can of course be wrathful for selfish reasons, such as jealousy, closely related to the sin of envy). Dante described vengeance as "love of justice perverted to revenge and spite". In its original form, the sin of wrath also encompassed anger pointed internally rather than externally. Thus suicide was deemed as the ultimate, albeit tragic, expression of wrath directed inwardly, a final rejection of God's gifts.


Like greed, Envy (Latin, invidia) may be characterized by an insatiable desire; they differ, however, for two main reasons:
  • First, greed is largely associated with material goods, whereas envy may apply more generally.
  • Second, those who commit the sin of envy resent that another person has something they perceive themselves as lacking, and wish the other person to be deprived of it.
Dante defined this as "a desire to deprive other men of theirs." Envy can be directly related to the Ten Commandments, specifically "Neither shall you desire... anything that belongs to your neighbour". In Dante's Purgatory, the punishment for the envious is to have their eyes sewn shut with wire because they have gained sinful pleasure from seeing others brought low. Aquinas described envy as "sorrow for another's good".[15]


In almost every list Pride (Latin, superbia), or hubris, is considered the original and most serious of the seven deadly sins, and the source of the others. It is identified as a desire to be more important or attractive than others, failing to acknowledge the good work of others, and excessive love of self (especially holding self out of proper position toward God). Dante's definition was "love of self perverted to hatred and contempt for one's neighbour." In Jacob Bidermann's medieval miracle play, Cenodoxus, pride is the deadliest of all the sins and leads directly to the damnation of the titulary famed Parisian doctor. In perhaps the best-known example, the story of Lucifer, pride (his desire to compete with God) was what caused his fall from Heaven, and his resultant transformation into Satan. In Dante's Divine Comedy, the penitents were forced to walk with stone slabs bearing down on their backs to induce feelings of humility.


Vainglory (Latin, vanagloria) is unjustified boasting. Pope Gregory viewed it as a form of pride, so he folded vainglory into pride for his listing of sins.
The Latin term gloria roughly means boasting, although its English cognate - glory - has come to have an exclusively positive meaning; historically, vain roughly meant futile, but by the 14th century had come to have the strong narcissistic undertones, of irrelevant accuracy, that it retains today.[16] As a result of these semantic changes, vainglory has become a rarely used word in itself, and is now commonly interpreted as referring to vanity (in its modern narcissistic sense).

Catholic Seven Virtues

The Roman Catholic Church also recognizes seven virtues, which correspond inversely to each of the seven deadly sins.
Vice↓ Latin↓ Virtue↓ Latin↓
Lust Luxuria Chastity Castitas
Gluttony Gula Temperance Temperantia
Greed Avaritia Charity Caritas
Sloth Acedia Diligence Industria
Wrath Ira Patience Patientia
Envy Invidia Kindness Humanitas
Pride Superbia Humility Humilitas

Associations with demons

In 1589, Peter Binsfeld paired each of the deadly sins with a demon, who tempted people by means of the associated sin. According to Binsfeld's classification of demons, the pairings are as follows
This contrasts slightly with an earlier series of pairings found in the fifteenth century English Lollard tract Lanterne of Light, which pairs Lucifer with Pride, Beelzebub with Envy, Satan/Amon with Wrath, Abadon with Sloth, Mammon with Avarice, Belphegor with Gluttony and Asmodeus with Lust.[17]


According to a 2009 study by a Jesuit scholar, the most common deadly sin confessed by men is lust, and for women, pride.[18] It was unclear whether these differences were due to different rates of commission, or different views on what "counts" or should be confessed.[19]

Cultural references

The seven deadly sins have long been a source of inspiration for writers and artists, from morality tales of the Middle Ages to modern manga series and video games.

Menninger on the Deadly Sins

In his 1973 book, Whatever Became of Sin?, Karl Menninger argued that the traditional list of the seven deadly sins was incomplete; that most modern ethicists would include cruelty and dishonesty and probably would rate these as more serious than some of the more traditional sins such as gluttony or sadness.

Culbertson on the Deadly Sins

In his 1908 book, "How one is not to be," Andrew Culbertson argues that two further vices should be added to the deadly sins: fear and superstition. Fear, in Culbertson's description, amounts to the modern psychiatric condition called Delusional disorder, while superstition is, "Belief in things that one does not understand, to the point of giving money to frauds and spiritual confidence men."

Enneagram Integration

The Enneagram of Personality integrates the seven with two additional "sins", deceit and fear. The Enneagram descriptions are broader than the traditional Christian interpretation and are presented in a comprehensive map.[20][21]

Literary works inspired by the seven deadly sins

  • John Climacus (7th century) in The Ladder of Divine Ascent places victory over the eight thoughts as individual steps of the thirty-step ladder: wrath (8), vainglory (10, 22), sadness (13), gluttony (14), lust (15), greed (16, 17), acedia (18), and pride (23).
  • Dante's (1265–1321) The Divine Comedy is a three-part work composed of "Inferno", "Purgatorio", and "Paradiso". "Inferno" divides Hell into nine concentric circles, four of which directly correspond to certain deadly sins: circle two to lust, three to gluttony, four to greed, and five to both wrath and sloth. The punishment for the latter two sins takes place in the Stygian lake, the wrathful being punished atop the lake, attacking one another with the various members of their person, including fangs, while the slothful are punished underneath the lake, breathing sighs in bubbles and singing a dolorous song.[22] The remaining circles do not neatly map onto the seven sins. In "Purgatorio", Mount Purgatory is scaled in seven levels and follows the sin sequence of Aquinas (starting with pride).[citation needed]
  • William Langland's (c. 1332–1386) Vision of Piers Plowman is structured around a series of dreams that are critical of contemporary errors while encouraging godly living. The sins are mentioned in this order: proud (pride; Passus V, lines 62–71), lechour (lecherousness; V. 71–74), envye (envy; V. 75–132), wrathe (wrath; V. 133–185), coveitise (covetousness; V. 186–306), glutton (gluttony; V. 307–385), sleuthe (sloth; V. 386–453).[23]
  • John Gower's (1330–1408) Confessio Amantis centres on a confession by Amans ("the Lover") to Genius, the chaplain of the goddess Venus. Following confessional practice of the time, the confession is structured around the seven deadly sins, though focuses on his sins against the rules of courtly love.[24]
  • Geoffrey Chaucer's (c. 1340–1400) Canterbury Tales features the seven deadly sins in The Parson's Tale: pride (paragraphs 24–29), envy (30–31), wrath (32–54), sloth (55–63), greed (64–70), gluttony (71–74), lust (75–84).[25]
  • Christopher Marlowe's (1564–1593) The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus shows Lucifer, Beelzebub, and Mephistophiles coming from hell to show Dr. Faustus "some pastime" (Act II, Scene 2). The sins present themselves, in order: pride, greed, envy, wrath, gluttony, sloth, lust.[26]
  • Edmund Spenser's (1552–1599), The Faerie Queene addresses the seven deadly sins in "Book I (The Legend of the Knight of the Red Cross, Holiness)": vanity/pride (Canto IV, stanzas 4–17), idleness/sloth (IV. 18-20), gluttony (IV. 21-23), lechery/lust (IV. 24-26), avarice/greed (IV. 27-29), envy (IV. 30-32), wrath (IV. 33-35).[27]
  • Garth Nix's "The Keys to the Kingdom" is an all ages seven-book series in which the main nemesis of each book is afflicted by one of the seven deadly sins.
  • Dale E Basye's series starting with Heck: Where the Bad Kids Go contains one deadly sin in each book.
  • A collection of Star Trek stories, Star Trek: Seven Deadly Sins, was recently released. It contains seven short novels, which link each deadly sin to a major Trek race: the Romulans (Pride), Borg (Gluttony), Klingons (Anger), Pakleds (Sloth), the Mirror Universe (Lust), the Ferengi (Greed), and the Cardassians (Envy).[28][29]
  • Author Caroline Myss, in her book Defy Gravity: Healing Beyond the Bounds of Reason, integrates the seven deadly sins as a key to understanding the spiritual underpinnings of healing. Her work proports that the "dark passions" of pride, avarice, luxury, wrath, gluttony, envy, and sloth are countered by the transformational power of the respective seven graces: reverence, piety, understanding, fortitude, counsel, knowledge, and wisdom.
  • Daniel Born along with Donald Whitfield and Mike Levine selected and edited two short stories for each of the seven deadly sins in The 7 Deadly Sins Sampler published by The Great Books Foundation in 2007. The same foundation published Even Deadlier as a sequel with the same format in 2009. For the second title Born headed a new group of editors, which included Molly Benningfield, Judith McCue, Abigail Mitchell, and Lindsay Tigue in addition to Whitfield.

Art and music

Film, television, radio, comic books and video games

  • There was a series of seven silent films made in 1917 that bore the series title, The Seven Deadly Sins, which began with Envy (1917), continued with Pride (1917), Greed (1917), Sloth (1917), Passion (1917), and Wrath (1917), and concluded with the synonymously titled The Seventh Sin (1917). The final installment was given that title because Gluttony was considered too offensive, and the producers couldn't come up with an adequate synonym.
  • The film The Devil's Nightmare is about a succubus who kills a group of tourists who are each guilty of one of the seven sins.
  • The original version of the film Bedazzled (1967) (remade in 2000) includes all seven sins; Raquel Welch as (Lillian) Lust, Barry Humphries as Envy, Alba as Vanity, Robert Russell as Anger, Parnell McGarry as Gluttony, Daniele Noel as Avarice, and Howard Goorney as Sloth.
  • In the film Seven (1995), written by Andrew Kevin Walker, directed by David Fincher and starring Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman, a mysterious serial killer punishes transgressors of each of the deadly sins through his crimes.
  • The Magnificent Seven Deadly Sins (1971) is a British film built around a series of comedy sketches on the seven deadly sins, and referencing the classic Western film The Magnificent Seven.
  • In the video game Overlord, the seven heroes that the protagonist must defeat have all been corrupted by one of the seven deadly sins.
  • The Seven Deadly Sins (traditionally given as "The Seven Deadly Enemies of Man") figure prominently in the mythos of Fawcett/DC Comics superhero Captain Marvel, and have appeared several times as supervillains in recent DC Comics publications.
  • In the manga and anime Digimon, the Seven Great Demon Lords, each of whom represent one of the sins, are a major group of antagonists.
  • In the manga and anime Katekyo Hitman Reborn!, the member of Varia each match one of the Seven Deadly Sins, their Latin names, or the respective demons of the sins.
  • In the manga and anime Fullmetal Alchemist, each sin is used as the name of each member of a group of powerful artificial humans called "homunculi", with each homunculus' personality and appearance being based on the sin which they are named after.
  • In the videogame Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, a major boss uses special attacks named after the deadly sins: Unleashed Wrath, End of Gluttony, Wings of Pride, Charge of Greed, Thunder of Envy, Defense of Lust, and Rage of Sloth.
  • In the videogame Devil May Cry 3, the seven deadly sins are represented by a group of common enemies, as well as by seven infernal bells. Fallen angels that personify the sins are also featured heavily in the prequel manga, in which they are important in summoning the bell-containing tower in the first place.
  • In an episode of America's Next Top Model, Cycle 4 each of the girls portrayed a deadly sin.
  • In the Philippines TV series Lastikman each major villain represents one of the deadly sins.
  • In the Norwegian TV show De syv dødssyndene (The Seven Deadly Sins), Kristopher Schau attempts to invoke the wrath of God by carrying out each of the seven deadly sins. When Schau was talking about the show on the talk show Senkveld (Late Night), he said "If I don't end up in Hell, then there is no Hell." The program caused a great deal of public debate surrounding the issue of censorship.
  • In Matt Fraction's comic book Casanova, the series' issues are named, in Latin, for each of the seven sins, beginning with Luxuria.
  • Rengoku II: The Stairway to Heaven is based on eight levels of a tower, seven named after the sins, the eighth being Paradise.
  • In the webcomic Jack, the seven sins are personified by anthropomorphs. The main character, Jack, represents the sin of Wrath.
  • Mark Watson Makes the World Substantially Better fits the sins into a six part BBC radio series, with Greed and Gluttony combined as the 'similar sins'.
  • In Knight Online's Bifrost are monsters that can hunt for Fragments of the seven sins. Fragments can be turned into unique items, or collected to gain access to the chamber of Ultima.
  • In 11eyes, the Black Knights are named Avaritia, Ira, Invidia, Acedia, Gula, and Superbia.
  • In Umineko no Naku Koro ni, the Seven Stakes of Purgatory are named after Peter Binsfeld's temptor demons and propagate or embody a deadly sin. Their ages follow the order of Purgatorio, Lucifer (Pride) being the eldest and Asmodeus (Lust) the youngest.
  • In Stan Lee and Hiroyuki Takei's manga Karakuridôji Ultimo, the main antagonists, excluding Vice, are based on the Seven Deadly Sins.
  • A Pakistani Musical Band "Meekal Hasan Band" portrayed the concept of the seven deadly sins in their music video titled "Chal Buleya".
  • In the manga Soul Eater, Team Spartoi has to pass through the chapters of the Book of Eibon, each of the chapters in one of the seven deadly sins starting with Lust.
  • MTV Roadies 7.0 was the seventh season of MTV Roadies, a reality television show aired on MTV India. In this season, the roadies drive headed to the wild Africa. For reaching Africa, a roadie had to clear 7 stages,each stage was a twist which occurred when a roadie committed one of the 7 sins. The tag line for this season was '7 Deadly Sins. 1 Wild Safari'.
  • In 2010 a miniseries called "Seven Deadly Sins" was aired on the Lifetime Movie Network, based on author Robin Wasserman's series of novels.
  • Sherwood Schwartz stated that he based the seven characters of Gilligan's Island on the seven sins with Pride represented by the Professor, Anger by the Skipper, Sloth by Gilligan, and so on.[30]

See also


  1. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church, nn.1856. See also nn.1854-1864.
  2. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1866.
  3. ^ BOYLE, Marjorie O'Rourke (1997) [1997-10-23]. "Three: The Flying Serpent". Loyola's Acts: The Rhetoric of the Self. The New Historicism: Studies in Cultural Poetics,. 36. Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 100–146. ISBN 978-0-520-20937-4.
  4. ^ Proverbs 6:16–19
  5. ^ Galatians
  6. ^ Evagrio Pontico,Gli Otto Spiriti Malvagi, trans., Felice Comello, Pratiche Editrice, Parma, 1990, p.11-12.
  7. ^ a b Refoule, 1967
  8. ^ Godsall-Myers, Jean E. (2003). Speaking in the medieval world. Brill. p. 27. ISBN 9004129553.
  9. ^ Katherine Ludwig, Jansen (2001). The making of the Magdalen: preaching and popular devotion in the later Middle Ages. Princeton University Press. p. 168. ISBN 0691089876.
  10. ^ Vossler, Karl; Spingarn, Joel Elias (1929). Mediæval Culture: The religious, philosophic, and ethico-political background of the "Divine Comedy". University of Michigan: Constable & company. p. 246.
  11. ^ "'' Catechism of the Catholic Church''". Archived from the original on 2008-03-27. Retrieved 2010-07-24.
  12. ^ a b Okholm, Dennis. "Rx for Gluttony". Christianity Today, Vol. 44, No. 10, September 11, 2000, p.62
  13. ^ "Gluttony". Catholic Encyclopedia.
  14. ^ "The Free Dictionary". The Free Dictionary. 1987-04-01. Retrieved 2010-07-24.
  15. ^ "Summa Theologica: Treatise on The Theological Virtues (QQ[1] - 46): Question. 36 - OF ENVY (FOUR ARTICLES)". Retrieved 2010-01-02.
  16. ^ Oxford English dictionary
  17. ^ Morton W. Bloomfield,The Seven Deadly Sins, Michigan State College Press, 1952, pp.214-215.
  18. ^ "Two sexes 'sin in different ways'". BBC News. 2009-02-18. Retrieved 2010-07-24.
  19. ^ Morning Edition (2009-02-20). "True Confessions: Men And Women Sin Differently". Retrieved 2010-07-24.
  20. ^ Maitri, The Enneagram of Passions and Virtues, pp.11-31
  21. ^ Rohr, The Enneagram
  22. ^ Dante, Inferno, Canto VII.120-128, translated by H.F. Cary, courtesy Project Gutenberg
  23. ^ References use the B-text, see Vision of Piers Plowman
  24. ^ "Confessio Amantis, or, Tales of the Seven Deadly Sins by John Gower - Project Gutenberg". 2008-07-03. Retrieved 2010-01-02.
  25. ^ "The Canterbury Tales/The Parson's Prologue and Tale - Wikisource". 2008-11-01. Retrieved 2010-01-02.
  26. ^ "Christopher Marlowe, The Tragedie of Doctor Faustus (B text) (ed. Hilary Binda)". Retrieved 2010-01-02.
  27. ^
  28. ^ "Seven Deadly Sins - Memory Beta, non-canon Star Trek Wiki". Retrieved 2010-07-24.
  29. ^ "Seven Deadly Sins - Memory Alpha, the Star Trek Wiki". 2010-03-30. Retrieved 2010-07-24.
  30. ^ Your Turn: Gilligan : In Character : NPR
  • Refoule, F. (1967) Evagrius Ponticus. In Staff of Catholic University of America (Eds.) New Catholic Encyclopaedia. Volume 5, pp644–645. New York: McGrawHill.
  • Schumacher, Meinolf (2005): "Catalogues of Demons as Catalogues of Vices in Medieval German Literature: 'Des Teufels Netz' and the Alexander Romance by Ulrich von Etzenbach." In In the Garden of Evil: The Vices and Culture in the Middle Ages. Edited by Richard Newhauser, pp. 277–290. Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies.

Further reading

Seven virtues

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Seven Heavenly Virtues)
In Catholic catechism, the seven virtues refer to one of two lists of virtues, most commonly referring to the 4 cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, restraint or temperance, and courage or fortitude, and the 3 theological virtues of faith, hope, and love or charity; these were adopted by the Church Fathers.
An alternative list, the seven heavenly virtues, is opposed to the seven deadly sins, and consists of chastity, temperance, charity, diligence-(solid), patience, kindness, and humility.



[edit] History

The seven virtues were first penned by the Greek philosophers, Aristotle and Plato. However, when they first came into being, there were not seven of them as we know them now, but four. These four initial virtues – temperance, wisdom, justice, and courage – were seen as the main attributes for a person to have. It was not until the New Testament began to be more extensively studied that the other three virtues of faith, hope, and charity were joined with the initial four virtues. Because of this difference of birth, the initial four virtues are widely referred to as the four cardinal virtues while the latter three are referred to as the three theological virtues, as mentioned by Stalker in his book The Seven Cardinal Virtues. [1]

[edit] Seven heavenly virtues

There is another list of the seven virtues to oppose the seven deadly sins. The seven heavenly virtues were derived from the Psychomachia ("Contest of the Soul"), an epic poem written by Aurelius Clemens Prudentius (c. AD 410) entailing the battle of good virtues and evil vices. The intense popularity of this work in the Middle Ages helped to spread the concept of holy virtue throughout Europe. Practicing these virtues is considered to protect one against temptation from the seven deadly sins, with each one having its counterpart. Due to this they are sometimes referred to as the contrary virtues. Each of the seven heavenly virtues matches a corresponding deadly sin.

Virtue↓ Latin↓ Gloss↓ (Vice)↓ (Latin)↓ Virtue's Meaning↓
Chastity Castitas Purity, knowledge, honesty, wisdom Lust Luxuria Abstaining from sexual conduct according to one's state in life; the practice of courtly love and romantic friendship. Cleanliness through cultivated good health and hygiene, and maintained by refraining from intoxicants. To be honest with oneself, one's family, one's friends, and to all of humanity. Embracing of moral wholesomeness and achieving purity of thought-through education and betterment. The ability to refrain from being distracted and influenced by hostility, temptation or corruption.
Temperance Temperantia Self-Control, justice, honour, abstention Gluttony Gula Restraint, temperance, justice. Constant mindfulness of others and one's surroundings; practicing self-control, abstention, moderation, zero-sum and deferred gratification. Prudence to judge between actions with regard to appropriate actions at a given time. Proper moderation between self-interest, versus public-interest, and against the rights and needs of others.
Charity Caritas Will, benevolence, generosity, sacrifice Greed Avaritia Generosity, charity, self-sacrifice; the term should not be confused with the more restricted modern use of the word charity to mean benevolent giving. In Christian theology, charity -- or love (agäpé) -- is the greatest of the three theological virtues. Love, in the sense of an unlimited loving kindness towards all others, is held to be the ultimate perfection of the human spirit, because it is said to both glorify and reflect the nature of God. Such love is self-sacrificial. Confusion can arise from the multiple meanings of the English word "love". The love that is "caritas" is distinguished by its origin – being divinely infused into the soul – and by its residing in the will rather than emotions, regardless of what emotions it stirs up. This love is necessary for salvation, and with it no one can be lost.
Diligence Industria Persistence, effort, ethics, rectitude Sloth Acedia Tristitia A zealous and careful nature in one's actions and work; decisive work ethic, steadfastness in belief, fortitude, and the capability of not giving up. Budgeting one's time; monitoring one's own activities to guard against laziness. Upholding one's convictions at all times, especially when no one else is watching (integrity). (The vice "acedia" is more commonly known as "sloth".)
Patience Patientia Peace, mercy, ahimsa, sufferance Wrath Ira Forbearance and endurance through moderation. Resolving conflicts and injustice peacefully, as opposed to resorting to violence. The ability to forgive; to show mercy to sinners. Not killing or being violent in any way to any life form or sentient being; to practice moderation of meat consumption and consistent life ethic. Creating a sense of peaceful stability and community, rather than engendering suffering, hostility and antagonism.
Kindness Humanitas Satisfaction, loyalty, compassion, integrity Envy Invidia Charity, compassion and friendship for its own sake. Empathy and trust without prejudice or resentment. Unselfish love and voluntary kindness without bias or spite. Having positive outlooks and cheerful demeanor; to inspire kindness in others.
Humility Humilitas Bravery, modesty, reverence, altruism Pride Superbia Modest behavior, selflessness, and the giving of respect. Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less. It is a spirit of self-examination; a hermeneutic of suspicion toward yourself and charity toward people you disagree with. The courage of the heart necessary to undertake tasks which are difficult, tedious or unglamorous, and to graciously accept the sacrifices involved. Reverence for those who have wisdom and those who selflessly teach in love. Giving credit where credit is due; not unfairly glorifying one's own self. Being faithful to promises, no matter how big or small they may be. Refraining from despair and the ability to confront fear and uncertainty, or intimidation.

[edit] Theology

Restraint is the keystone of the seven holy virtues. The other holy virtues are created through selfless pursuits:
  • Valour: Pursuit of Courage and Knowledge
  • Generosity: Pursuit of Giving
  • Liberality: Pursuit of Will
  • Diligence: Pursuit of Ethics
  • Patience: Pursuit of Peace
  • Kindness: Pursuit of Charity
  • Humility: Pursuit of Modesty

[edit] Popular culture

In the Dungeons & Dragons third-edition fantasy role-playing game, the Seven deadly sins and the Seven heavenly virtues each made an appearance as the philosophical Cleric Domains, providing the option to exemplify the moral/ethical conflict of these ideals, rather than abstract ideology or tenets of a deity. They were originally featured in two separate issues of the Dragon Magazine (Issue #323 & Issue #355), but later on were collected and released in Dragon Compendium (-Volume 1-) hard-cover anniversary-edition published by Paizo Publishing.
In White Wolf Game Studio's newer World of Darkness role-playing game, both the Seven deadly sins and the Seven heavenly virtues constitute required attributes of each player character in game mechanics. A character acting in accordance with his or her defining Virtue or Vice traits are rewarded, but the reward is greater for fulfilling the Virtue than for indulging in the Vice. The 49 possible Virtue/Vice combinations are not used as 'character types', but do appear as categories of disguises used by the Guardians of the Veil.

The Seven Sins of Memory

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Seven Sins of Memory: How the Mind Forgets and Remembers is a book (ISBN 0-618-21919-6) by Daniel Schacter, former chair of Harvard University's Psychology Department and a leading memory researcher.
The book revolves around the theory that "the seven sins of memory" are similar to the Seven deadly sins, and that if you try to avoid committing these sins, it will help to improve your ability to remember. He argues that these features of human memory are not necessarily bad, and that they actually serve a useful purpose in memory. For instance, persistence is one of the sins of memory that can lead to things like post traumatic stress syndrome. However persistence is also necessary for long-term memory, and so it is essential.



[edit] Overview

Schacter asserts that "memory's malfunctions can be divided into seven fundamental transgressions or 'sins'."[1] These are transience, absent-mindedness, blocking, misattribution, suggestibility, bias, and persistence. The first three are described as sins of omission, since the result is a failure to recall an idea, fact, or event. The other four sins (misattribution, suggestibility, bias, and persistence) are sins of commission, meaning that there is a form of memory present, but it is not of the desired fidelity or the desired fact, event, or idea.

[edit] Types of Memory Failure

[edit] Transience

Transience refers to the general deterioration of a specific memory over time. Much more can be remembered of recent events than those farther in one's past. This is especially true with episodic memory, because every time an episodic memory is recalled, it is re-encoded within the hippocampus, altering the memory each time you recall it.

[edit] Absent-mindedness

This form of memory breakdown involves problems at the point where attention and memory interface. Common errors of this type include misplacing keys, eyeglasses, or forgetting appointments because at the time of encoding sufficient attention was not paid on what would later need to be recalled.

[edit] Blocking

Blocking is when the brain tries to retrieve or encode information, but another memory interferes with it. Blocking is a primary cause of Tip of the tongue phenomenon (a temporary inaccessibility of stored information). There are two types of blocking; proactive, and retroactive.

[edit] Misattribution

Misattribution is the first of the sins of commission which are discussed in the book. It entails correct recollection of information with incorrect recollection of the source of that information. For example, a person who witnesses a murder after watching a television program may incorrectly blame the murder on someone she saw on the television program. This error has profound consequences in legal systems because of its unacknowledged prevalence and the confidence which is often placed in the person's ability to know the source of information important to suspect identification.

[edit] Suggestibility

Suggestibility is somewhat similar to misattribution. Memories of the past are often influenced by the manner in which they are recalled, and when subtle emphasis is placed on certain aspects which might seem likely to a specific type of memory those emphasized aspects are sometimes incorporated into the recollection, whether or not they actually occurred. For example, a person sees a crime being committed by a redheaded man. After reading in the newspaper that the crime was committed by a brown-haired man, the witness "remembers" a brown-haired man instead of a redheaded man.

[edit] Bias

The sin of bias is similar to the sin of suggestibility in that one's current feelings and worldview distort remembrance of past events. This can pertain to specific incidences and the general conception one has of a certain period in one's life. This occurs partly because memories encoded while a person was feeling a certain level of arousal and a certain type of emotion come to mind more quickly when a person is in a similar mood. Thus, a contented adult might look back with fondness on their childhood, induced to do so by positive memories from that time which might not actually be representative of their average mood during their childhood.

[edit] Persistence

This failure of the memory system involves the unwanted recall of information that is disturbing. The remembrance can range from a blunder on the job to a truly traumatic experience, and the persistent recall can lead to formation of phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder, and even suicide in especially disturbing and intrusive instances.

[edit] References

  1. ^ D. Schacter. The Seven Sins of Memory, Houghton Mifflin, 2001. p.4

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