Moral Development and the Forgiveness of Sin

Volume 9
Summer 1981
Moral Development and the Forgiveness of Sin

It is the purpose of this article to contribute to the dialogue between religion and morality by examining the Christian conception of forgiveness of sin (an aspect of the doctrine of justification) as interpreted by individuals at each of Kohlberg'€™s stages of moral development. The thesis of this article is that justification is a developmental process as well as a unitemporal event in the individual'€™s life. At each higher stage of moral development one becomes increasingly aware of the scope of sin. In order to accommodate this growing realization, individuals at different stages of moral development turn to different ways of interpreting the doctrine of justification. However, it is maintained that only at Stage 7 does one come to full understanding of one'€™s inability to achieve forgiveness by one'€™s own deeds and thus turn to God in a posture of faith alone, realizing that such forgiveness can come solely from him.

S. Spidell and Dr. D. Liberman
159 - 163
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