Samuel Johnson on Human Nature: Natural Depravity and the Doctrine of Original Sin

Gregory F. Scholtz

Article Type: Article

Publication Date: 4/1/1993

Issue: Literature (Vol. 13, No 2, Spring, 1993)

Any understanding of Christian salvation is based upon certain beliefs about the nature of the human, and Johnson’s is no exception. The purpose of this essay is to reconstruct Johnson’s beliefs about human nature from the sources mentioned above, while noting, first, the reactions that these beliefs have provoked and, second, the consistencies and inconsistencies between the Johnsonian view of humanity and that of the Christian church.

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