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Original Sin and the Qur’an

The present article addresses the common view that the Qur’an has no doctrine of original sin. It begins by defining original sin with attention to the Bible and Christian tradition. Thereafter the author addresses Qur’anic language on “bearing the burden of another” and the Qur’an’s generally pessimistic anthropology. Finally the author examines the Qur’anic material on the fall of the devil, the permission which God grants the devil to lead humans astray, and the descent of Adam and his wife to the world with its adornments after their sin. The subsequent history of the humanity in the Qur’an is punctuated with punishment stories. All of this leads to the conclusion that humanity’s tendency to sin (and God’s tendency to punish humans for their sin) is connected to this proto-history. Accordingly, while is it right that the Qur’an does not embrace much of Christian teaching on original sin, it is nevertheless the case that in the Qur’an Adam’s sin has serious consequences for his progeny.

Titre original : “The Original Sin and the Qur’an”

Résumé : Le présent article traite de l’opinion courante selon laquelle le Coran n’aurait pas de doctrine du péché originel. Il commence par définir le péché originel en se référant à la Bible et à la tradition chrétienne. Ensuite, l’auteur aborde le langage coranique sur le fait de “porter le fardeau d’un autre” et l’anthropologie généralement pessimiste du Coran. Enfin, l’auteur examine le matériel coranique sur la chute à cause du diable, la permission que Dieu accorde au diable d’égarer les humains, et la chute d’Adam et de sa femme dans le monde avec ses conséquences après leur péché. L’histoire ultérieure de l’humanité dans le Coran est ponctuée de châtiments. Tout ceci conduit à la conclusion que la tendance de l’humanité à pécher (et la tendance de Dieu à punir les humains pour leur péché) est liée à cette protohistoire. En conséquence, s’il est vrai que le Coran ne reprend pas une grande partie de l’enseignement chrétien sur le péché originel, il n’en demeure pas moins que, dans le Coran, le péché d’Adam a de graves conséquences pour sa progéniture.

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