Deadly sins series discusses their meaning in today’s world

Erin Hopkins

Envy. Greed. Lust.

A discussion series at the Ashtabula campus is updating definitions for each of the seven deadly sins and what they mean in today’s world.

The Seven Deadly Sins series examines how each sin has been modernized. The series is the creation of Laurie Bentley, communications instructor, and Joseph Zingaro, English instructor.

Gluttony, for example, was described by series speakers as a strong desire for material things such as cars or clothes, not just excessive food and drink.

The two became interested in the series after reading a series of lectures about sin published by the New York Public Library and Oxford University Press.

Bentley and Zingaro sent out a call for those interested to choose one of the seven sins to discuss.

Speakers ranged from Provost Paul Gaston to a minister, Zingaro said. Ashtabula professors and a graduate student from John Carroll University have also presented sins.

“By no means is this a morality thing,” Zingaro said, adding that the goal of the series was just to give people something to think about.

“We don’t have an agenda,” Bentley said. “We let our speakers decide where they want to go with each sin. We want people to leave wondering why sloth, greed or pride are sins.”

The series consists of a lecture about each sin followed by a session for discussion.

“Rather than just going to a lecture and writing a paper, we wanted to get something to involve students and community,” Zingaro said. “And not just at the lecture, but after. The discussion with the questions is the most important.”

Zingaro said the series has been received well and that about 100-125 students and community members have attended each discussion.

The seven deadly sins — pride, greed, envy, anger, lust, gluttony and sloth — were listed in the sixth century by Pope St. Gregory. According to the Web site “The Seven Deadly Sins,” the sins are not specifically listed in the Bible, but they are each explained throughout the text.

The next presentation in the series is “Sloth on the Internet” and will be presented Feb. 24.

Contact regional campuses reporter Erin Hopkins at [email protected].