The Private Intellectual
Ecclesiastes-Based Real Estate Advice

Sunday, October 30, 2011  

Just as Every Cop is a Criminal, and All Your Sinners, Saints

My new column for The Daily is up, this one for All Saints' Day:

Sniffing out the flaws of the famous validates the popular prejudice that sanctity is just a cover for hypocrisy. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German theologian and anti-Nazi martyr, called this suspiciousness the “revolt from below.” But this is a misunderstanding of sainthood. The concept of purity is at odds with what a saint is supposed to be. In fact, as historian David Steinmetz recently put it, “saints and not sinners” are “the real authorities on sin.” This is obvious enough when you think about it; you only notice a current, Steinmetz explains, when you begin to struggle against it.

posted by Benjamin Dueholm | 10:11 PM
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