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concupiscence


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(Latin, concupiscere, to desire, covet).

In theological ethics, concupiscence comes in three grades: it may cover first, the whole range of appetite and desire; secondly, that desire which is not deliberate, but a spontaneous reaction of the appetitive part of a person, and thirdly, that which actively opposes free and rational decision. In this last sense concupiscence is a thoroughly bad thing. The Pelagian heresy contained the view that concupiscence is innocent, and is enthusiastically countered by Augustine, who founded the tradition of identifying concupiscence with fleshly lust, and hence as the vehicle for transmitting original sin.

Subjects: Philosophy — Christianity.


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