Can anyone drag and drop a concise definition of the Eastern Orthodox view of "Ancestral Sin" and quote the source? One of the reasons I ask is the great tomes of western theological definitions, such as The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. seem to be almost void of theological terms that are common in Orthodoxy. What short to the point dictionary or authoritative encyclopaedia definitions can you find? I cannot see it defined concisely on their o.c.a. website.
The Eastern Orthodox Church teaches that no one is guilty for the actual sin they committed but rather everyone inherits the consequences of this act; the foremost of this is physical death in this world. This is the reason why the original fathers of the Church over the centuries have preferred the term ancestral sin. The consequences and penalties of this ancestral act are transferred by means of natural heredity to the entire human race. Since every human is a descendant of Adam then 'no one is free from the implications of this sin' (which is human death) and that the only way to be freed from this is through baptism. While mortality is certainly a result of the Fall, along with this also what is termed "concupiscence" in the writings of St Augustine of Hippo -- this is the "evil impulse" of Judaism, and in Orthodoxy, we might say this is our "disordered passion." It isn't only that we are born in death, or in a state of distance from God, but also that we are born with disordered passion within us. Orthodoxy would not describe the human state as one of "total depravity" (see Cyril Lucaris however). Orthodox Christians have usually understood Roman Catholicism as professing St. Augustine's teaching that everyone bears not only the consequence, but also the guilt, of Adam's sin.