The Anti-Pelagian Christology of Augustine of Hippo, 396-430 by Dominic Keech

By Dominic Keech

Evading validated debts of the advance of doctrine within the Patristic period, Augustine's Christology has but to obtain the serious scholarly recognition it merits. This research specializes in Augustine's realizing of the humanity of Christ, because it emerged in discussion together with his anti-Pelagian perception of human freedom and unique Sin.
By reinterpreting the Pelagian controversy as a Western continuation of the Origenist controversy earlier than it, Dominic Keech argues that Augustine's interpreting of Origen lay on the center of his Christological reaction to Pelagianism. Augustine is for that reason located in the community of fourth and 5th century Western theologians involved to safeguard Origen opposed to accusations of Platonic mistakes and unsafe heresy. establishing with a survey of scholarship on Augustine's Christology and anti-Pelagian theology, Keech proceeds via redrawing the narrative of Augustine's engagement with the problems and personalities interested by the Origenist and Pelagian controversies. He highlights the primary motif of Augustine's anti-Pelagian Christology: the humanity of Christ, 'in the likeness of sinful flesh' (Rom. 8.3), and argues that this is often elaborated via a sequence of receptions from the paintings of Ambrose and Origen. The theological difficulties raised by means of this Christology - in a Christ who's exempt from sin in a fashion which unbalances his human nature - are explored by means of studying Augustine's realizing of Apollinarianism, and his equivocal statements at the foundation of the human soul. This varieties the backdrop for the book's speculative end, that the inconsistencies in Augustine's Christology may be defined by way of putting it in an Origenian framework, within which the soul of Christ continues to be sinless within the Incarnation due to its courting to the everlasting note, after the autumn of souls to embodiment.

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In the same year, Epiphanius returned to Palestine, and was received at Jerome’s monastery; here, he irregularly ordained Jerome’s brother, Paulinianus, to the presbyterate, in what can only be viewed as a further calculated snub towards John. 52 Epiphanius wrote to John to explain himself and state once again his grievances against Origenist teaching, not least that it was being propagated by Rufinus, implicitly under John’s tutelage.  The letter was apparently copied for Jerome’s non­Graecophone friend, Eusebius of Cremona; however, once he returned to Rome, it was mysteriously stolen from his desk, and reached Rufinus in 395.

At this point, it will be useful to halt the historical narrative and examine Augustine’s activities during the events that have been related.  His first request of his bishop Valerius was to be given leave to study the Scriptures. 48) Augustine’s relationship with Jerome, Rufinus, and—eventually—Pelagius, but also for gauging his interest in Origen.  The confusion and delay in the transmission of these letters, as much as their content, are vital to understanding Jerome’s hostile response to Augustine’s queries about his relationship to Origen; on this account, I beg the patience of my reader to follow this complex narrative.

145 The ignorance and weakness of fallen nature combine to make humans unwilling, so that grace cannot assist them. 146 As a result, the only human ever to have been truly sinless and fully graced was Christ.

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