Religion: Those Fine Old Deadly Sins

Seven were the sins—pride, covetousness, lust, anger, gluttony, envy and sloth —that the early Christian theologians labeled capital, or deadly, on the ground that they led to the commission of other offenses against God.* For most 20th century men, the list seems a trifle quaint. In a world where millions are hungry because there is too little food, and millions more because they are dieting, gluttony, for example, takes on certain ironies.

To investigate the current state of these fine old sins, London's Sunday Times recently commissioned essays on them from a septet of...

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