Sin and Salvation : An Inter-Cultural Re-Reading


Sin and Salvation : An Inter-Cultural Re-Reading


Is it possible to have only one conception of sin? Of salvation? Derek Nelson in Sin: A Guide for the Perplexed observes that with a variety of approaches, we are able to “see, in relief and detail, features of sin that might be otherwise obscured.” One might say the same of salvation. We can thus gain a richer view of sin and salvation when we put old and new,
traditional and post-colonial theologians in conversation. Looking through the lenses of an early church father, St. Augustine, born and bred in Northern Africa, but a citizen of the Roman Empire, Wonhee Anne Joh, a feminist theologian born in Korea but largely raised in the United States, and Randy Woodley, a Native American theologian also born and raised in the United States but with deep Cherokee roots, we see commonalities and differences. A common sense of something inherent about being human that often leads us to hurt ourselves, others, and creation. The salvation of Christ’s life, death and resurrection is the window into God’s love that desired to heal us so much that God joined humanity in the world and ultimately suffered for us. Yet it also shows us the power of the life lived in love (Augustine)/jeong (Joh) /shalom (Woodley) that God calls us to which is able to heal that buried wound. Through this window, Christ’s life, death and resurrection, then, provides us with the power, grace and freedom to also pursue that life. There are differences in the theologies of these three, of course, coming from different contexts. When we open our ears to the Spirit, however, and the possibilities that cultures beyond our own have something to teach us, we may actually be reminded of what we already knew. Even as we gain greater understanding.


Fischer, Jennifer Anne




Copyright, Jennifer Anne Fischer




Project Thesis
Date Added
November 14, 2023
VTS Masters Theses
Fischer, Jennifer Anne, “Sin and Salvation : An Inter-Cultural Re-Reading,” Bishop Payne Library at Virginia Theological Seminary, accessed April 19, 2024,