Predestination: Augustine to Calvin and Beyond

John Casey

in After Lives

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780195092950
Published online February 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199869732 | DOI:
Predestination: Augustine to Calvin and Beyond

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This chapter explores the history and logic of the doctrine of predestination—that because of inherited (“original”) sin man needs divine grace to perform any righteous act. Since grace is a free gift of God, it was taken to follow that God, in withholding it from some and granting it to others, consigns some to everlasting perdition simply from the counsel of his own will, from all eternity. The chapter examines St. Augustine, chief originator of the doctrine, and his struggle with those who opposed it, especially the Pelagians. It goes on to examine Calvin's more severe concept of Double Predestination, and later developments, through the Council of Trent, disputes between Jansenists and Jesuits, up to the modern times. It examines critically whether belief in fundamental human depravity can have a rational basis.

Keywords: predestination; depravity; Augustine; original sin; grace; Pelagians; Calvin; Jansenists; Jesuits

Chapter.  12110 words. 

Subjects: East Asian Religions

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