the seven deadly sins

Hieronymus Bosch's The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things
The Holy Spirit and the Seven Deadly Sins. Folio from Walters manuscript W.171 (15th century)

The seven deadly sins, also known as the capital vices or cardinal sins, is a grouping and classification of vices within Christian teachings.[1] According vĩ đại the standard list, they are pride, greed, wrath, envy, lust, gluttony and sloth, which are contrary vĩ đại the seven capital virtues. These sins are often thought vĩ đại be abuses or excessive versions of one's natural faculties or passions (for example, gluttony abuses one's desire vĩ đại eat).

This classification originated with Tertullian and continued with Evagrius Ponticus.[2]

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The seven deadly sins are discussed in treatises and depicted in paintings and sculpture decorations on Catholic churches as well as older textbooks.[1]


Greco-Roman antecedents[edit]

Roman writers such as Horace extolled virtues, and they listed and warned against vices. His first epistles say that "to flee vice is the beginning of virtue and vĩ đại have got rid of folly is the beginning of wisdom."[3]

An allegorical image depicting the human heart subject vĩ đại the seven deadly sins, each represented by an animal (clockwise: toad = avarice; snake = envy; lion = wrath; snail = sloth; pig = gluttony; goat = lust; peacock = pride).

Origin of the currently recognized seven deadly sins[edit]

These "evil thoughts" can be categorized as follows:[4]

  • physical (thoughts produced by the nutritive, sexual, and acquisitive appetites)
  • emotional (thoughts produced by depressive, irascible, or dismissive moods)
  • mental (thoughts produced by jealous/envious, boastful, or hubristic states of mind)

The fourth-century monk Evagrius Ponticus reduced the nine logismoi vĩ đại eight, as follows:[5][6]

  1. Γαστριμαργία (gastrimargia) gluttony
  2. Πορνεία (porneia) prostitution, fornication
  3. Φιλαργυρία (philargyria) greed
  4. Λύπη (lypē) sadness, rendered in the Philokalia as envy, sadness at another's good fortune
  5. Ὀργή (orgē) wrath
  6. Ἀκηδία (akēdia) acedia, rendered in the Philokalia as dejection
  7. Κενοδοξία (kenodoxia) boasting
  8. Ὑπερηφανία (hyperēphania) pride, sometimes rendered as self-overestimation, arrogance, or grandiosity[7]

Evagrius's list was translated into the Latin of Western Christianity in many writings of John Cassian,[8][9] thus becoming part of the Western tradition's spiritual pietas or Catholic devotions as follows:[4]

  1. Gula (gluttony)
  2. Luxuria/Fornicatio (lust, fornication)
  3. Avaritia (greed)
  4. Tristitia (sorrow/despair/despondency)
  5. Ira (wrath)
  6. Acedia (sloth)
  7. Vanagloria (vain, glory)
  8. Superbia (pride, hubris)

In AD 590, Pope Gregory I revised the list vĩ đại sườn a more common list.[10] Gregory combined tristitia with acedia and vanagloria with superbia, adding envy, which is invidia in Latin.[11][12] Thomas Aquinas uses and defends Gregory's list in his Summa Theologica, although he calls them the "capital sins" because they are the head and sườn of all the other sins.[13] Christian denominations, such as the Anglican Communion,[14] Lutheran Church,[15] and Methodist Church,[16][17] still retain this list, and modern evangelists such as Billy Graham have explicated the seven deadly sins.[18]

Historical and modern definitions, views, and associations[edit]

According vĩ đại Catholic prelate Henry Edward Manning, the seven deadly sins are seven ways of eternal death.[19]


Main article: Lust

Lust or lechery (Latin: luxuria "carnal") is intense longing. It is usually thought of as intense or unbridled sexual desire,[20] which may lead vĩ đại fornication (including adultery), rape, bestiality, and other sinful and sexual acts; oftentimes, however, it could also mean other forms of unbridled desire, such as for money, or power. Henry Edward Manning explains that the impurity of lust transforms one into "a slave of the devil".[19]

Lust is generally thought vĩ đại be the least serious capital sin.[21][22] Thomas Aquinas considers it an abuse of a faculty that humans share with animals and sins of the flesh are less grievous phàn nàn spiritual sins.[23]


Still life: Excess (Albert Anker, 1896)

Gluttony (Latin: gula) is the overindulgence and overconsumption of anything vĩ đại the point of waste. The word derives from the Latin gluttire, meaning vĩ đại gulp down or swallow.[24] One reason for its condemnation is that the gorging of the prosperous may leave the needy hungry.[25]

Medieval church leaders such as Thomas Aquinas took a more expansive view of gluttony,[25] arguing that it could also include an obsessive anticipation of meals and overindulgence in delicacies and costly foods. Aquinas also listed five forms of gluttony:[26]

  • Laute – eating too expensively
  • Studiose – eating too daintily
  • Nimis – eating too much
  • Praepropere – eating too soon
  • Ardenter – eating too eagerly


The Worship of Mammon (1909) by Evelyn De Morgan.

In the words of Henry Edward Manning, avarice "plunges a man deep into the mire of this world, ví that he makes it vĩ đại be his god".[19]

As defined outside Christian writings, greed is an inordinate desire vĩ đại acquire or possess more phàn nàn one needs, especially with respect vĩ đại material wealth.[27] Aquinas considers that lượt thích pride, it can lead vĩ đại evil.[28]


Parable of the Wheat and the Tares (1624) by Abraham Bloemaert, Walters Art Museum

Sloth (Latin: tristitia, or acedia "without care") refers vĩ đại a peculiar jumble of notions, dating from antiquity and including mental, spiritual, pathological, and physical states.[29] It may be defined as absence of interest or habitual disinclination vĩ đại exertion.[30]

In his Summa Theologica, Saint Thomas Aquinas defined sloth as "sorrow about spiritual good".[28]

The scope of sloth is wide.[29] Spiritually, acedia first referred vĩ đại an affliction attending religious persons, especially monks, wherein they became indifferent vĩ đại their duties and obligations vĩ đại God. Mentally, acedia has a number of distinctive components; the most important of these is affectlessness, a lack of any feeling about self or other, a mind-state that gives rise vĩ đại boredom, rancor, apathy, and a passive inert or sluggish mentation. Physically, acedia is fundamentally associated with a cessation of motion and an indifference vĩ đại work; it finds expression in laziness, idleness, and indolence.[29]

Sloth includes ceasing vĩ đại utilize the seven gifts of grace given by the Holy Spirit (Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Knowledge, Piety, Fortitude, and Fear of the Lord); such disregard may lead vĩ đại the slowing of spiritual progress towards eternal life, the neglect of manifold duties of charity towards the neighbor, and animosity towards those who love God.[19]

Unlike the other seven deadly sins, which are sins of committing immorality, sloth is a sin of omitting responsibilities. It may arise from any of the other capital vices; for example, a son may omit his duty vĩ đại his father through anger. The state and habit of sloth is a mortal sin, while the habit of the soul tending towards the last mortal state of sloth is not mortal in and of itself except under certain circumstances.[19]

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Emotionally, and cognitively, the evil of acedia finds expression in a lack of any feeling for the world, for the people in it, or for the self. Acedia takes sườn as an alienation of the sentient self first from the world and then from itself. The most profound versions of this condition are found in a withdrawal from all forms of participation in or care for others or oneself, but a lesser yet more noisome element was also noted by theologians. Gregory the Great asserted that, "from tristitia, there arise malice, rancour, cowardice, [and] despair". Chaucer also dealt with this attribute of acedia, counting the characteristics of the sin vĩ đại include despair, somnolence, idleness, tardiness, negligence, laziness, and wrawnesse, the last variously translated as "anger" or better as "peevishness". For Chaucer, human's sin consists of languishing and holding back, refusing vĩ đại undertake works of goodness because, he/she tells him/herself, the circumstances surrounding the establishment of good are too grievous and too difficult vĩ đại suffer. Acedia in Chaucer's view is thus the enemy of every source and motive for work.[31]

Sloth subverts the livelihood of the body toàn thân, taking no care for its day-to-day provisions, and slows down the mind, halting its attention vĩ đại matters of great importance. Sloth hinders the man in his righteous undertakings and thus becomes a terrible source of human's undoing.[31]


Wrath, by Jacques de l'Ange

Wrath (ira) can be defined as uncontrolled feelings of anger, rage, and even hatred. Wrath often reveals itself in the wish vĩ đại seek vengeance.[32]

According vĩ đại the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the neutral act of anger becomes the sin of wrath when it is directed against an innocent person, when it is unduly strong or long-lasting, or when it desires excessive punishment. "If anger reaches the point of a deliberate desire vĩ đại kill or seriously wound a neighbor, it is gravely against charity; it is a mortal sin." (CCC 2302) Hatred is the sin of desiring that someone else may suffer misfortune or evil and is a mortal sin when one desires grave harm (CCC 2302–03).[33]

People feel angry when they sense that they or someone they care about has been offended, when they are certain about the nature and cause of the angering sự kiện, when they are certain someone else is responsible, and when they feel that they can still influence the situation or cope with it.[34]

Henry Edward Manning considers that "angry people are slaves vĩ đại themselves".[19]


Main article: Envy

Envy (invidia) is characterized by an insatiable desire lượt thích greed and lust. It can be described as a sad or resentful covetousness towards the traits or possessions of someone else. It comes from vainglory[35] and severs a man from his neighbor.[19]

According vĩ đại St. Thomas Aquinas, the struggle aroused by envy has three stages: during the first stage, the envious person attempts vĩ đại lower another's reputation; in the middle stage, the envious person receives either "joy at another's misfortune" (if he succeeds in defaming the other person) or "grief at another's prosperity" (if he fails); and the third stage is hatred because "sorrow causes hatred".[36]

Bertrand Russell said that envy was one of the most potent causes of unhappiness, bringing sorrow vĩ đại committers of envy, while giving them the urge vĩ đại inflict pain upon others.[37]


Detail of Pride from The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things by Hieronymus Bosch, c. 1500

Pride (superbia), also known as hubris (from Ancient Greek ὕβρις) or futility. It is considered the original and worst of the seven deadly sins on almost every list, the most demonic.[38] It is also thought vĩ đại be the source of the other capital sins. Pride is the opposite of humility.[39][40]

Pride has been labeled the mother of all sins and has been deemed the devil's most essential trait. C.S. Lewis writes in Mere Christianity that pride is the "anti-God" state, the position in which the ego and the self are directly opposed vĩ đại God: "Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads vĩ đại every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind."[41] Pride is understood vĩ đại máy chủ the spirit from God, as well as His life-and-grace-giving Presence.[19]

One can be prideful for different reasons. tác giả Ichabod Spencer states that "spiritual pride is the worst kind of pride, if not worst snare of the devil. The heart is particularly deceitful on this one thing."[42] Jonathan Edwards said: "remember that pride is the worst viper that is in the heart, the greatest disturber of the soul's peace and sweet communion with Christ; it was the first sin that ever was and lies lowest in the foundation of Satan's whole building and is the most difficultly rooted out and is the most hidden, secret and deceitful of all lusts and often creeps in, insensibly, into the midst of religion and sometimes under the disguise of humility."[43]

The modern use of pride may be summed up in the biblical proverb, "Pride goeth before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall" (abbreviated "Pride goes before a fall", Proverbs 16:18). The "pride that blinds" causes foolish actions against common sense.[44] In political analysis, "hubris" is often used vĩ đại describe how leaders with great power over many years become more and more irrationally self-confident and contemptuous of advice, leading them vĩ đại act impulsively.[44]

Historical sins[edit]


Acedia mosaic, Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière

Acedia (Latin, acedia "without care";[29] from Greek ἀκηδία) is the neglect vĩ đại take care of something that one should bởi. It is translated vĩ đại apathetic listlessness; depression without joy. It is related vĩ đại melancholy; acedia describes the behaviour and melancholy suggests the emotion producing it. In early Christian thought, the lack of joy was regarded as a willful refusal vĩ đại enjoy the goodness of God. By contrast, apathy was considered a refusal vĩ đại help others in times of need.

Acēdia is the negative sườn of the Greek term κηδεία (Kēdeia), which has a more restricted usage. 'Kēdeia' refers specifically vĩ đại spousal love and respect for the dead.[45]

Pope Gregory combined this with tristitia into sloth for his list. When Thomas Aquinas described acedia in his interpretation of the list, he described it as an "uneasiness of the mind", being a progenitor for lesser sins such as restlessness and instability.[46]

Acedia is currently defined in the Catechism of the Catholic Church as spiritual sloth, believing spiritual tasks vĩ đại be too difficult.[47] In the fourth century, Christian monks believed that acedia was primarily caused by a state of melancholia that caused spiritual detachment instead of laziness.[48]

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Vainglory (Latin, vanagloria) is unjustified boasting. Pope Gregory viewed it as a sườn of pride, ví he folded vainglory into pride for his listing of sins.[11] According vĩ đại Aquinas, it is the progenitor of envy.[35]

The Latin term gloria roughly means boasting, although its English cognate glory has come vĩ đại have an exclusively positive meaning. Historically, the term vain roughly meant futile (a meaning retained in the modern expression "in vain"), but had come vĩ đại have the strong narcissistic undertones by the fourteenth century which it still retains today.[49]

Confession patterns[edit]

According vĩ đại a 2009 study by the Jesuit scholar Fr. Roberto Busa, the most common deadly sin confessed by men is lust and the most common deadly sin confessed by women is pride.[50] It was unclear whether these differences were due vĩ đại the actual number of transgressions committed by each sex or whether differing views on what "counts" or should be confessed caused the observed pattern.[51]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Tucker, Shawn (2015). The Virtues and Vices in the Arts: A Sourcebook. Cascade. ISBN 978-1625647184.
  2. ^ "The Seven Deadly Sins". Catholic Answers. Retrieved 2023-09-30.
  3. ^ Tilby, Angela (23 April 2013). The Seven Deadly Sins: Their origin in the spiritual teaching of Evagrius the Hermit. SPCK. ISBN 9780281062997.
  4. ^ a b Refoule, F. (1967) "Evagrius Ponticus," In New Catholic Encyclopaedia, Vol. 5, pp. 644f, Staff of Catholic University of America, Eds., New York: McGraw-Hill.
  5. ^ Evagrio Pontico, Gli Otto Spiriti Malvagi, trans., Felice Comello, Pratiche Editrice, Parma, 1990, p.11-12.
  6. ^ Evagrius (22 June 2006). The Greek Ascetic Corpus. Translated by Sinkewicz., Robert E. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0199297088.
  7. ^ In the translation of the Philokalia by Palmer, Ware and Sherrard.
  8. ^ "NPNF-211. Sulpitius Severus, Vincent of Lerins, John Cassian – Christian Classics Ethereal Library".
  9. ^ Cassian, John (3 January 2000). The Institutes (First ed.). New York: Newman Press of the Paulist Press. ISBN 9780809105229.
  10. ^ "For pride is the root of all evil, of which it is said, as Scripture bears witness; Pride is the beginning of all sin. [Ecclus. 10, 1] But seven principal vices, as its first progeny, spring doubtless from this poisonous root, namely, vain glory, envy, anger, melancholy, avarice, gluttony, lust." Gregory the Great, Moralia in Iob, book XXXI
  11. ^ a b DelCogliano, Mark (18 November 2014). Gregory the Great: Moral Reflections on the Book of Job, Volume 1. Cistercian Publications. ISBN 9780879071493.
  12. ^ Tucker, Shawn R. (24 February 2015). The Virtues and Vices in the Arts: A Sourcebook. Cascade Books, an Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers.
  13. ^ "SUMMA THEOLOGICA: The cause of sin, in respect of one sin being the cause of another Prima Secundae Partis, Q. 84; I-II,84,3)". Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  14. ^ Armentrout, Don S. (1 January 2000). An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church: A User-Friendly Reference for Episcopalians. Church Publishing, Inc. p. 479. ISBN 9780898697018.
  15. ^ Lessing, Reed (25 August 2002). "Mighty Menacin' Midianites". The Lutheran Hour. Retrieved 26 March 2017.
  16. ^ Speidel, Royal. "What Would a United Methodist Jesus Do?". UCM. Retrieved 26 March 2017. Thirdly, the United Methodist Jesus reminds us vĩ đại confess our sins. How long has it been since you have heard reference vĩ đại the seven deadly sins: pride, gluttony, sloth, lust, greed, envy and anger?
  17. ^ Decadt, Yves. "Falling angels : allegories about the 7 sins and 7 virtues". Falling Angels. Artnet. Retrieved 6 August 2023.
  18. ^ The American Lutheran, Volumes 39–40. American Lutheran Publicity Bureau. 1956. p. 332. The world-renowned Evangelist, Billy Graham, presents in this volume an excellent analysis of the seven deadly sins which he enumerates as pride, anger, envy, impurity, gluttony, avarice and slothfulness.
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h Manning, Henry Edward. Sin and Its consequences.
  20. ^ "Definition of LUST". Retrieved 4 May 2016.
  21. ^ Dorothy L. Sayers, Purgatory, Introduction, pp. 65–67 (Penguin, 1955).
  22. ^ Pyle, Eric (31 December 2014). William Blake's Illustrations for Dante's Divine Comedy: A Study of the Engravings, Pencil Sketches and Watercolors. McFarland. ISBN 9781476617022.
  23. ^ Aquinas, St Thomas (1 January 2013). Summa Theologica, Volume 4 (Part III, First Section). Cosimo. ISBN 9781602065604.
  24. ^ "Latin Definition for: gluttio, gluttire, -, – (ID: 21567) – Latin Dictionary and Grammar Resources – Latdict". Retrieved 2022-10-10.
  25. ^ a b Okholm, Dennis. "Rx for Gluttony". Christianity Today, Vol. 44, No. 10, 11 September 2000, p.62
  26. ^ "Gluttony". Catholic Encyclopedia.
  27. ^ greed. 2016. Retrieved 4 February 2019 – via The Free Dictionary.
  28. ^ a b Aquinas, Thomas (20 August 2013). Summa Theologica (All Complete & Unabridged 3 Parts + Supplement & Appendix + interactive links and annotations). e-artnow. ISBN 9788074842924.
  29. ^ a b c d Lyman, Stanford (1989). The Seven Deadly Sins: Society and Evil. p. 5. ISBN 0-930390-81-4.
  30. ^ "the definition of sloth". Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  31. ^ a b Lyman, Stanford. The Seven Deadly Sins: Society and Evil. pp. 6–7.
  32. ^ Landau, Ronnie (30 October 2010). The Seven deadly Sins: A companion. ISBN 978-1-4457-3227-5.
  33. ^ "CCC, 2302-3".
  34. ^ International Handbook of Anger. p. 290
  35. ^ a b Aquinas, Thomas (1 January 2013). Summa Theologica, Volume 3 (Part II, Second Section). Cosimo, Inc. ISBN 9781602065581.
  36. ^ "Summa Theologica: Treatise on The Theological Virtues (QQ[1] – 46): Question. 36 – Of Envy (four articles)". Retrieved 2 January 2010.
  37. ^ Russell, Bertrand (1930). The Conquest of Happiness. New York: H. Liverwright. p. 86.
  38. ^ Climacus, John. The Ladder of Divine Ascent, Translation by Colm Luibheid and Norman Russell. pp. 62–63.
  39. ^ "Humility vs Pride And Why The Difference Should Matter To You | Jeremie Kubicek". Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  40. ^ Acquaviva, Gary J. (2000). Values, Violence and Our Future. Rodopi. ISBN 9042005599.
  41. ^ Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis, ISBN 978-0-06-065292-0
  42. ^ Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers. 1895. p. 485.
  43. ^ Claghorn, George. To Deborah Hatheway, Letters and Personal Writings (Works of Jonathan Edwards Online Vol. 16).
  44. ^ a b Hollow, Matthew (2014). "The 1920 Farrow's Bank Failure: A Case of Managerial Hubris". Journal of Management History. Durham University. 20 (2): 164–178. doi:10.1108/JMH-11-2012-0071. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
  45. ^ Henry George Liddell and Robert Scott. A Greek-English Lexicon. Revised by Sir Henry Stuart Jones and Roderick McKenzie. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1940.
  46. ^ McCarron, Bill; Knoke, Paul (2002), "From Gent vĩ đại Gentil: Jed Tewksbury and the Function of Literary Allusion in A Place vĩ đại Come To", Robert Penn Warren Studies, 2 (1)
  47. ^ "CCC, 2733".
  48. ^ "Before Sloth Meant Laziness, It Was the Spiritual Sin of Acedia". Atlas Obscura. 14 July 2017. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  49. ^ Oxford English dictionary
  50. ^ "Two sexes 'sin in different ways'". BBC News. 18 February 2009. Retrieved 24 July 2010.
  51. ^ Morning Edition (20 February 2009). "True Confessions: Men And Women Sin Differently". NPR. Retrieved 24 July 2010.

Further reading[edit]

  • Cassian, John (1885). "The Remedies for the Eight Principal Faults." . Ante-Nicene Christian Library, Volume XI. Translated by Schaff, Philip. T. & T. Clark in Edinburgh.
  • de la Puente, Lius (1852). "On Pride and Vainglory" . Meditations On The Mysteries Of Our Holy Faith. Richarson and Son.
  • Schumacher, Meinolf [de] (2005): "Catalogues of Demons as Catalogues of Vices in Medieval German Literature: 'Des Teufels Netz' and the Alexander Romance by Ulrich von Etzenbach." In In the Garden of Evil: The Vices and Culture in the Middle Ages. Edited by Richard Newhauser, pp. 277–290. Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies.
  • The Concept of Sin, by Josef Pieper
  • The Traveller's Guide vĩ đại Hell, by Michael Pauls & Dana Facaros
  • Sacred Origins of Profound Things, by Charles Panati
  • The Faerie Queene, by Edmund Spenser
  • The Seven Deadly Sins Series, Oxford University Press (7 vols.)
  • Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung, Glittering Vices: A New Look at the Seven Deadly Sins and Their Remedies, (Grand Rapids: BrazosPress, 2009)
  • Solomon Schimmel, The Seven Deadly Sins: Jewish, Christian and Classical Reflections on Human Psychology, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997)
  • Slater S.J., Thomas (1925). "Book 4: On Sin (Pride)" . A manual of moral theology for English-speaking countries. Burns Oates & Washbourne Ltd.
  • Tucker, Shawn. The Virtues and Vices in the Arts: A Sourcebook, (Eugene, OR: Cascade Press, 2015)

External links[edit]