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Whatever Happened to Sin in Contemporary Culture?
- Course Dates: Thu 4 May 2017, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
The concept of ‘sin’ is rarely expressed in today’s popular culture.
This workshop will investigate the use of the word (or notable absences of it) across the range of contemporary media, as well as how the links have been broken between this and the word ‘evil. In doing so, we will dip into many aspects of contemporary culture, focusing especially one of the most highly-acclaimed TV dramas of recent years, Breaking Bad, to examine how the condition is portrayed, even when not named.
When the word ‘sin ‘ does appear in secular culture, it is rarely used in the way the Church understands it –often in ironic quotation marks and frequently used of something ‘naughty but nice’, or of an outmoded Catholic shame culture. In contrast, Breaking Bad, described as a story of how ‘Mr Chips turns into Scarface’, demonstrates that an understanding of how ordinary humans can descend into evil is still alive and well.
In examining the concept of sin across this range of contemporary media, we will be able to draw some conclusions about how it functions in present day UK society. We will also look at how we got to this point and how Christians might helpfully present an understanding of sin in a world where the idea has lost its meaning.