The seven deadly sins, also known as the capital vices or cardinal sins, is a grouping and classification of vices within Christian teachings.[1] Although they are not directly mentioned in the Bible, there are parallels with the seven things God is said to hate in the Book of Proverbs. Behaviours or habits are classified under this category if they directly give rise to other immoralities.[2] According to the standard list, they are pride, greed, wrath, envy, lust, gluttony and sloth,[2] which are contrary to the seven capital virtues.

Hieronymus Bosch's The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things
The Holy Spirit and the Seven Deadly Sins. Folio from Walters manuscript W.171 (15th century)

This classification originated with the Desert Fathers, especially Evagrius Ponticus.[3] Evagrius' pupil John Cassian with his book The Institutes brought the classification to Europe,[4] where it became fundamental to Catholic confessional practices as documented in penitential manuals, sermons such as "The Parson's Tale" from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and artworks such as Dante's Purgatory where the penitents of Mount Purgatory are grouped and penanced according to their worst sin. Church teaching especially focused on pride, which was thought to be the root of all sin since it turns the soul away from God; and also on greed or covetousness. Both of these were to undercut other sins.

The seven deadly sins are discussed in treatises and depicted in paintings and sculpture decorations on Catholic churches as well as older textbooks.[1] The seven deadly sins, along with the sins against the Holy Ghost and the sins that cry to Heaven for vengeance, are taught especially in Western Christian traditions as things to be deplored.[5]