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"Latin: Incurvatus in se" (Turned/curved inward on oneself) is a theological phrase describing a life lived "inward" for self rather than "outward" for God and others.

Paul the Apostle wrote of this condition in the Epistle to the Romans 7:15, 7:8-19:

For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. [...] For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

It was perhaps Augustine of Hippo who first coined the phrase incurvatus in se.[1] Martin Luther expounded on this in his Lectures on Romans and described this state as:

Our nature, by the corruption of the first sin, [being] so deeply curved in on itself that it not only bends the best gifts of God towards itself and enjoys them (as is plain in the works-righteous and hypocrites), or rather even uses God himself in order to attain these gifts, but it also fails to realize that it so wickedly, curvedly, and viciously seeks all things, even God, for its own sake."[2]

This was later extended by Karl Barth to include other sins beyond pride.[1] It is also believed that, even though people are justified by Jesus dying on the Cross, they still possess a propensity to sin against God because of this condition (i.e. simul justus et peccator).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Matt Jenson (2006). Gravity of Sin. T & T Clark. ISBN 978-0-567-03138-9. Retrieved 2012-11-17. 
  2. ^ Johnston, Mark (6 July 2009), "6", Saving God, Princeton: Princeton University Press, p. 88, ISBN 978-0-691-14394-1, retrieved 2012-11-17 

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incurvatus_in_se — Please support Wikipedia.
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14 news items

Huffington Post

Huffington Post
Mon, 01 Jun 2015 13:35:28 -0700

The church reformer Martin Luther (1483-1546) loves the Latin phrase "Incurvatus in se." It comes from St. Augustine and means to be curved in on oneself. Luther believes that we have a tendency not just to worship our self, but to see the world only ...

Patheos (blog)

Patheos (blog)
Sun, 08 Mar 2015 18:50:00 -0700

Dr. King's namesake, Martin Luther, had a word for this sort of ceaseless self-reference: incurvatus in se, which can be roughly translated as: “curved inward on oneself.” When we curve in on ourselves, on our industries, our families, our clans, we ...
 
First Things
Sun, 16 Nov 2014 21:26:15 -0800

At its heart is a spiritual disorder, what Martin Luther (borrowing a phrase from Augustine) described as incurvatus in se, “twisted back into one's self.” In our own era, we have seen the evisceration of those communities that sustain us during the ...
 
Patheos (blog)
Thu, 18 Dec 2014 07:42:46 -0800

This basic posture of shameful, fearful defensiveness is what Augustine and Luther called homo incurvatus in se (“humanity curved inward on itself”). Basically, Adam and Eve's story illustrates the origin of humanity's preoccupation with the thing we ...

Lifesite

Lifesite
Wed, 03 Dec 2014 12:35:29 -0800

At its heart it's a spiritual disorder, what Martin Luther … and Augustine described as incurvatus in se, 'twisted back into one's self.' In our own era, we have seen the evisceration of those communities that sustain us during the most trying and ...
 
Forbes
Tue, 11 Feb 2014 07:56:15 -0800

Otherwise it's just incurvatus in se. It's just another way of building myself up, buying my charity points.” Fr. Sirico: “And you see this in the Gospel, don't you? With the Pharisee who gives a tenth of his belongings and does it for everyone to see ...
 
Christian Post
Thu, 12 Jul 2012 09:18:45 -0700

Such is the default curved-in-on-itself position of the human heart, or what Augustine termed incurvatus in se. Perhaps you've heard this tendency expressed as a legalistic formula: "The reason for suffering and the lack of abundant life among ...
 
Christian Post
Fri, 30 Dec 2011 06:35:00 -0800

As I mentioned in a post last week, the biggest difference between the practical effect of sin and the practical effect of the gospel is that sin turns us inward (homo incurvatus in se) and the gospel turns us upward and outward. We were designed to ...
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