Gregory Baum's Amazing Grace

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Social sin, defined by Gregory Baum in his chapter “Critical Theology” in Religion and Alienation, “resides in a group, a community, a people… It produces evil consequences but no guilt in the ordinary sense... [it] is committed out of blindness. People are involved in destructive action without being aware of it” (Baum, 200). To obtain a deeper understanding on the thoughts of Baum, he outlines four levels of social sin that can be applied to the children in Jonathan Kozol’s Amazing Grace. This novel illustrates the unfortunate circumstances that are present in today’s world and is an example of a neo-liberal society where equality does not exist. Baum’s first level of social sin is described as the “injustices and dehumanizing trends built into various institutions – social, political, economic, religious and others – which embody…show more content…
The children and adults of the society carry on with their daily tasks without even recognizing that this form of evil exists within the environment in which they live in simply because they were born and raised into it (Module 2, Section A). The lack of educational institutions, healthcare facilities, and other services such as drug-rehabilitation programs and AIDS services are only a few of the shortages that the residents are strongly affected by. This is clearly portrayed by Kozol as he writes, “… the city intends to lay off 15,000 workers, nearly 5,000 of them in the agencies that offer social services” (Kozol 1995, 100). Mayor Rudolph Giuliani advises these children that they’ll have to “manage without public help” (Kozol 1995, 101), and in addition removes “afterschool programs in which younger children can be safe while mothers work” (Kozol 1995, 101). The destructive effects of these actions on the future of these young

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