October 31, 2019

Sin. Vice. Iniquity. Are these concepts of our religious past or timeless aspects of the human condition?

Liam Welsh

SongHow The Devil Got His Horns, 2019

My piece asks whether in a post-Christian, digital society where romantic attachment is easily found and easily replaced, if our current freedoms only make us more hesitant to commit and increasingly suspicious of relationships which might “tie us down”. Does this cheapen our view of romance, encouraging us to behave with an unfeeling callousness in an area of our lives that is essentially spiritual? And crucially, if these things have indeed been naturalised within modern dating, why then do some of us feel a pang of conscience?

Addressing these questions, my piece also draws from Gustave Dore’s depiction of Lucifer in his illustration of the Divine Comedy. We see him sulking in a corner of hell, it not being immediately obvious that he is in the process of devouring a person, his boundless gluttony seeming only to leave him fatigued and unsatisfied. In a world in which sin and redemption are viewed as outdated concepts are we not like Dore’s devil in that we wash away yesterday’s excesses with yet more today?