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4 Postlapsarian Man

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Chapter Summary

Medieval and Renaissance interpretations of the nature and role of man were profoundly shaped by what the Book of Genesis tells about Adam and Eve's defiance of God and their subsequent expulsion form the garden of Eden. The notion of sinful and wretched postlapsarian man, tainted by original sin and powerless with regard to his own salvation, was based on Augustine's interpretation of Adam's rebellion, the fall, and the necessity of divine grace. Sarpi believed that the gradual decay of man's character was manifested by education, false opinion, and the ability to talk and thereby disseminate false information. While Paruta longed for cloistral life, Sarpi examined happiness in a more analytical manner. Faithful to his terse writing style, Sarpi condensed the essence of happiness into a syllogism: "happiness is perfection, perfection is that which does not lack anything: happiness is thus self-sufficiency".

Keywords: Adam's rebellion; Genesis; Medieval interpretations; postlapsarian man; Renaissance interpretations; Sarpi

10.1163/9789004266742_005
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