The concept of the "seven deadly sins" is so embedded in Western culture that it pops up in the unlikeliest of places. Like the 1995 movie "Seven" starring Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman and Gwyneth Paltrow. The Hannibal Lecter series. Even the TV show "Gilligan's Island" (see Now That's Wild).
But where did the seven deadly sins come from, and why has this shortlist of mankind's chief vices endured for centuries? We reached out to David A. Salomon, author of "The Seven Deadly Sins: How Sin Influenced the West from the Middle Ages to the Modern Era," to learn why medieval artists became obsessed with portrayals of the seven deadly sins and what "sin" even means in a secular world.