"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. 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."
This was later extended by Karl Barth to include other sins beyond pride. 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).
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 ...
Thu, 04 Dec 2014 04:56:38 -0800
On Homo Incurvatus in Se—Man Turned in on Himself—as and entry point for the discussion of sin in the 21st Century. When I speak on the subject, I use my hands a lot to describe how we get when we are turned in on ourselves and how this connects to ...
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 ...
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 ...
First Things (blog)
First Things (blog)
Mon, 27 Oct 2014 08:20:43 -0700
The buffered self is incurvatus in se, and psychology has, wittingly or not, merely reinforced that curvature. It's a striking indictment of psychology. Psychology provides management of selves that have lost the capacity for love and intimacy ...
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 ...
Thu, 06 Nov 2014 09:32:06 -0800
Por ello, el aborto no es un problema médico, sanitario, social, jurídico o económico, sino humano, es el síntoma más crudo del actual homo incurvatus in se, de la ética de la mismidad donde el individuo y sus intereses son el bien supremo, falseando ...
Thu, 12 Jul 2012 09:32:47 -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 ...
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