Lust is any intense desire or craving for self gratification and excitement. Lust can mean strictly sexual lust, although it is also common to speak of a "lust for men", "lust for blood (bloodlust for short)" or a "lust for power", or other goals and to "lust for love". The Greek word which translates as lust is epithymia, which also is translated into English as "to covet".

Lust in the context of religion


Catholic tradition considers lust to be one of the main sins or vices. In the Old Testament, adultery was punishable by stoning. In the New Testament, Jesus included looking "lustfully at a woman" as adultery.(From 'The Holy Bible' , Matthew 5:28)

Christianity—Roman Catholicism

The Roman Catholic Church teaches that lust is one of the seven capital vices, popularly known as the seven deadly sins. A vice, according to this tradition, is a "habit inclining one to sin" Catholic Encyclopedia: Vice. The specific sins to which lust may lead are fornication, adultery, incest, criminal assault, abduction, sodomy, rape, and othersCatholic Encyclopedia: Lust. However, "Such guilt as [one] may have contracted in any case is charged directly to the sinful act, not to the vice;" Catholic Encyclopedia: Vice in other words, it is the specific sins, and not the vice itself, which deprive one's soul of sanctifying grace and make one deserving of God's punishment.


Protestants hold that all sins, including lust, can be forgiven only by God through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. If a person believes in Jesus as his only Savior, then that person, regardless of what he has done, will receive Jesus' righteousness and will be able to enter heaven. But to enter the heaven of GOD , One must receive the Spirit of GOD . Refer The Holy Bible, chapter Luke 7:36-50, where Lord Jesus Christ forgives a sinful woman.

Punishment in the afterlife

According to some Christian sources, reprobates whose chief unforgiven sin is lust are punished in Hell by being "smothered in fire and brimstone." However, while most Christian traditions agree that at some point after death the damned individuals find themselves in a hell where they suffer punishment for their sins, most traditions also agree that one can only speculate regarding the precise nature of any punishment above and beyond the principal torment, which comes simply from being totally separated from God.

Repentance in Purgatory

According to The Divine Comedy, penitents who are guilty of lust cleanse their soul of the sin by walking through flames, thereby purging their minds of all lustful thoughts.

Symbolic representations

A frequent visual symbol for the sin of lust is the color blue, as with the cover of the book Lust in The Seven Deadly Sins series published by the Oxford University Press.

Another symbol of lust is the animal cow (or bull). An example of this appears in the engraving Shamelessness by the 16th century artist Georg Pencz.

Also, lust can be seen in the eponymous Eighth ATU in the Thoth Tarot card of Aleister Crowley.


See also

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