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Whatever happened to sin? An examination of the word and concept in contemporary popular culture

Authors
  • Brand, Hilary
Type
Published Article
Journal
Holiness
Publisher
Sciendo
Publication Date
Jun 16, 2020
Volume
2
Issue
3
Pages
283–312
Identifiers
DOI: 10.2478/holiness-2016-0006
Source
De Gruyter
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

The concept of ‘sin’ is rarely expressed in today's popular culture. When the word does appear it is frequently in ironic quotation marks and often used in terms of ‘naughty but nice’, minor misdemeanours, something disapproved of, an outmoded Catholic shame culture, Islamic oppression or fundamentalist extremism. Rarely is it used in the way the Church understands it. By analysing the use of the word in recent news reports and examining its use and absence across the range of twenty-first-century media, this study draws some conclusions about how UK secular society understands the word. It then goes on to explore how some twentieth-century cultural changes have impacted on its understanding, and concludes with some observations on how twenty-first-century Western culture still senses the underlying problem and yearns for a way to express it.

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