The Seven Deadly Sins

How Sin Influenced the West from the Middle Ages to the Modern Era

by David A. Salomon


What is "sin" in the morally ambiguous twenty-first century, and how did Western culture arrive at the present-day concept of it?

Print Flyer
Cover image for The Seven Deadly Sins

March 2019


Pages 153
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Religion/Society
  World History/Culture

This volume looks at the history of the idea of sin as it has influenced and shaped Western culture. Emphasis is placed on an inter- and cross-disciplinary approach.

The word "sin" has come to transcend the theological and enter the common parlance in both media and society. This book is an examination of that idea. It discusses how the concept of sin evolved through the Middle Ages and into the modern era. From religion to politics and from the bedroom to the boardroom, a more complete understanding of the history of sin will assist the modern reader in a wide variety of fields.

This book builds on the work of Gregory the Great to explain each of the so-called seven deadly sins: pride, lust, anger, gluttony, avarice, envy, and sloth. Each chapter provides a close look at the origins and history of that individual sin, concluding with a section on contemporary applications of the idea and a case study. The central argument is that the concept of sin has been integral to the development of Western society, including not only political and religious history but also in extensive aspects of popular culture in the twenty-first century. The broader but significant issue of intention versus action permeates the study.


  • Connects philosophical and religious concepts from the Middle Ages to the modern era
  • Shows how the seven deadly sins are reflected in contemporary and popular culture
  • Gives readers an overview of the seven deadly sins in accessible language
  • Looks at the significant changes in the Western view of sin from Gregory the Great to Pope Francis's "theology of sin" to the media's condemnation of minor transgressions as "sins"
Author Info

David A. Salomon, PhD, is director of undergraduate research and creative activity at Christopher Newport University, in Newport News, VA. He has been a professor of English for almost twenty years. His previous publications include An Introduction to the Glossa Ordinaria as Medieval Hypertext.




In the News

Blog Talk Radio, Interview: The Seven Deadly Sins: How Sin Influenced the West from the Middle Ages to the Modern Era, 4/22/2019

WOCA The Source Radio, David A. Salomon Interview - The Seven Deadly Sins, 5/1/2019

WGDT-FM The Morning Show, The Seven Deadly Sins: How Sin Influenced the West from the Middle Ages to the Modern Era, 5/6/2019

Look Inside

Other Titles of Interest

Internet Afterlife cover imageFinding Freedom in Confinement cover imageThe Morality of Self-Defense and Military Action cover image
Disability, Faith, and the Church cover imageRecovering Jewishness cover imageWomen and Asian Religions cover image

Product Search

Product Search

Publication Year



Need Help? Try our Search Tips