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The Anti-Pelagian Christology of Augustine of Hippo, 396-430

Dominic Keech

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199662234
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191746314 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199662234.001.0001

Series: Oxford Theological Monographs

The Anti-Pelagian Christology of Augustine of Hippo, 396-430

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Falling outside of the usual categories of Patristic Christological discourse, Augustine’s Christology remains a relatively neglected area of his thought. This study focuses on his understanding of the humanity of Christ as it emerged in dialogue with his anti-Pelagian conception of human freedom and Original Sin. By reinterpreting the Pelagian controversy as a Western continuation of the Origenist controversy before it, it argues that Augustine’s reading of Origen lay at the heart of his Christological response to Pelagianism. Augustine is, therefore, situated within the network of fourth- and fifth-century Western theologians concerned to defend Origen’s orthodoxy—and the orthodoxy of a broader Christian Platonism—against their opponents. Opening with a survey of scholarship in the areas of both Augustinian Christology and Augustine’s anti-Pelagianism, it proceeds by detailing Augustine’s engagement with the issues and personalities involved in both the Origenist and Pelagian controversies. Chapter 3 examines the importance of Augustine’s understanding of Christ ‘in the likeness of sinful flesh’ (Rom 8.3) within his anti-Pelagian works; Chapter 4 traces the dependence of this motif on Origen’s exegesis. The fifth chapter considers Augustine’s treatment of Christ’s soul in relation to his understanding of Apollinarianism. The study concludes by exploring Augustine’s handling of the origin of the soul, suggesting that the inconsistencies in his Christology can be explained by recourse to an Origenian framework, in which the soul of Christ remains sinless in the Incarnation because of its relationship to the eternal Word after the Fall of souls to embodiment

Keywords: Origen; Ambrose; Jerome; Rufinus of Aquilei; Pelagianism; Origenism; Original Sin; flesh of sin; soul; virginal conception

Book.  288 pages. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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Table of Contents

Introduction in The Anti-Pelagian Christology of Augustine of Hippo, 396-430

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Recovering an Augustinian Christology in The Anti-Pelagian Christology of Augustine of Hippo, 396-430

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Augustine and Origen: Fathers of Pelagianism in The Anti-Pelagian Christology of Augustine of Hippo, 396-430

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A Divine Humanity in Sin’s Likeness in The Anti-Pelagian Christology of Augustine of Hippo, 396-430

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Augustine, Origen, and the Exegesis of Romans 8:3 in The Anti-Pelagian Christology of Augustine of Hippo, 396-430

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<i>Apollinaris Redux</i>? Augustine and the Psychology of Christ in The Anti-Pelagian Christology of Augustine of Hippo, 396-430

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The Election of the Dominical Human: Augustine and the Unfallen Soul of Christ in The Anti-Pelagian Christology of Augustine of Hippo, 396-430

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Conclusion in The Anti-Pelagian Christology of Augustine of Hippo, 396-430

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