Pelagius, Caelestius, and the Roman See in Gaul and North Africa

Henry Chadwick

in The Church in Ancient Society

Published in print December 2001 | ISBN: 9780199246953
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600463 | DOI:

Series: Oxford History of the Christian Church

 Pelagius, Caelestius, and the Roman See in Gaul and North Africa

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The doctrinal writings of Pelagius (c.360–420), ‘the first known British writer’, raised fundamental and perennial questions about the nature of sin and faith and the meaning for Christians of living an authentic moral life. His ideas on free will and the possibility of avoiding sin aroused the hostility of Augustine, who was led to extreme expression of the opposing view. Pelagius attracted supporters, the most vocal of whom was Caelestius, who made a particular impression in North Africa. The controversy over Pelagianism became embroiled with Pope Zosimus’ autocratic attitude towards the churches in Gaul and North Africa in 417–18 and continued during the papal schism after his death. Supporters of Pelagius, who had been condemned as heretical by councils in 416 and 418, were harassed in Gaul in the 420s.

Keywords: Augustine; Caelestius; Gaul; North Africa; Pelagianism; Pelagius; Pope Zosimus

Chapter.  8209 words. 

Subjects: History of Christianity

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