Synopsis: This book has two main theses. First, for the biblical/Christian doctrine of sin the root of the human problem is hardness of heart--the corruption of the core self, of the seat of understanding and will. On the other hand, for an important strand of Greek tragedy the root of human harm-doing is the nonculpable blindness and anxiety of finitude that despite the initial nonculpability lead to evil and suffering. The Hardened Heart shows that these two different interpretations of human existence are amenable to a degree of synthesis that leads to this conclusion: hardness of heart and our ordinary finitude together collude to cause sin in its fullness. The second thesis of this volume is that exegetical studies disclose a deconstructive strand in certain biblical texts that represents the finite world that God created as a source of distress and harm-doing in something like the tragic sense. This subdominant deconstructive position challenges the dominant biblical vision, in which the creation came forth from God's creative word as good without qualification. Endorsements: "Via's incisive demonstration of tragic finitude in Jewish and Christian Scripture--showing where it runs alongside the dominant themes of sin and the 'hardened heart'--sharpens and clarifies our awareness of how innocence and suffering mingle with anxiety and moral culpability. His new comparisons of key biblical texts with themes from Greek tragedy lead to a provocative and acute theological account of the origins of evil and the challenges of grace and responsibility." --Larry D. Bouchard, Professor of Religious Studies, University of Virginia "Through careful exegesis and masterful theological reasoning, Via develops a far more compelling view of the sinful nature of the human condition, both at its heart and in its limitations, than other studies of biblical sin have been able to provide. This book is a superb example of biblical theology done extremely well." --Mary Ann Tolbert, Professor of Biblical Studies, Pacific School of Religion and the Graduate Theological Union Author Biography: Dan O. Via has taught on the faculties of Wake Forest University, the University of Virginia, and Duke University Divinity School, in which he is now Emeritus Professor of New Testament. He has also been a visiting professor at the University of Zimbabwe and Harvard Divinity School. He is the author of forty articles and ten books, including the groundbreaking The Parables, and has edited another sixteen volumes.