I've been kicking around a series I'd like to start on this blog, a series aimed at another book I'd like to write.
The idea is to link theological understandings of the relationship between death and sin with the psychological literature building up around works like Ernest Becker's The Denial of Death. Basically, I want to use theology and psychology to analyze the way death anxiety is implicated in human sinfulness.
The psychological side of this I can handle. And I also have a few good modern theological sources regarding the relationship between death and sin (e.g., Stringfellow, Arthur McGill, Bultmann, McCord Adams).
However, I'd like to go back further in time with this. So I'd like to ask for some help.
First, I've read in a couple of places that the Greek Orthodox tradition has some rich analysis on the relationship between sin and death. From what I understand the Orthodox invert the order of the causal association between sin and death found with Protestants. That is, Protestants see sin leading to death. Sin is the cause and death is the effect. My understanding is that the Greek Orthodox often flip this, seeing death as the cause of sin. Death here is the cause and sin is the effect. That is the argument that I want to make. So I'd like to read more about the Orthodox take on this. What Orthodox writers, living or dead, should I be reading to get up to speed on this?
Second, I've heard that Augustine talks about the relation of timor mortis (the fear of death) to faith but I'm having trouble locating where, in his vast works, he takes up this subject. More, are there any contemporary works that examine timor mortis in Augustine's thought?
Finally, beyond ancient sources are there other modern theological works that analyze the relationship between death and sin?
My goal would be to trace a line of thought from ancient sources through contemporary theology to modern psychological research. The biblical passage I'm building around is Hebrews 2.14-15 (the bold part is what I'm keying in on):
Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.