On the Death of Adam and Eve

Randall Rosenberg

Saint Louis University

In the wake of modern evolutionary biology, it seems difficult to understand biological death as the consequence of human sin, since God seems to have used such death as the means for creating new forms of life. Yet, Christian theology poses a tension. This tension is captured in the Catechism of the Catholic Church’s teaching that “in a sense bodily death is natural, but for faith it is in fact ‘the wages of sin’” (CCC 1005). This lecture examines Aquinas’ treatment of the “naturalness” and “unnaturalness” of human death, and explores what this might teach us today as we consider the origin of life and nature before sin.

Randall S. Rosenberg is Dean of the College of Philosophy & Letters and Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at Saint Louis University. He holds a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from Boston College. He is author of The Givenness of Desire: Concrete Subjectivity and the Natural Desire to See God (University of Toronto Press) and co-editor of the essays of Frederick Lawrence entitled The Fragility of Consciousness: Faith, Reason, and the Human Good (University of Toronto Press). He has published articles in a variety of scholarly journals, including Theological Studies, Angelicum, Gregorianum, Logos, and Heythrop Journal. Rosenberg is currently working on a book that develops a critical conversation between Pierre Hadot and Bernard Lonergan on the recovery of the sapiential dimension of theology.

This talk is part of the conference “The Origin of Life and Nature Before Sin: Scientific and Theological Perspectives”, which took place at the Angelicum on 1-2 April 2022. Click here to download the conference brochure.