A Divine Humanity in Sin’s Likeness

Dominic Keech

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

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199662234
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191746314 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Theological Monographs

A Divine Humanity in Sin’s Likeness

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Chapter 3 examines the development of Augustine’s theology of Original Sin alongside his concurrent description of Christ’s humanity. It traces his move from an abstract account of sin, to a fully historicized description of Adam’s Fall and the Original Sin propagated from it in carnal concupiscence (concupiscentia carnalis), and suggests that a conception of embodiment as a consequence of the Fall is subconsciously present in this shift. The chapter then highlights Augustine’s maturing exegesis of Romans 8.3, in which Christ’s conception of a virgin, without concupiscence (sine concupiscentia), emerges as the dominant motif. Surveying the shift in Augustine’s anti-Pelagianism embedded in both De Peccatorum Meritis and De Natura et Gratia, it argues that his treatment of Romans 8.3 remains constant: Christ ‘in likeness of sinful flesh’ is deployed as proof of the reality of fallen humanity, against Pelagianism’s tendency to reduce the Incarnation to the level of pedagogic exemplarism.

Keywords: carnal concupiscence; flesh of sin; Ad Simplicianum; virginal conception; De Libero Arbitrio; De Peccatorum Meritis; Julian of Eclanum; Adam; theological anthropology; Christology

Chapter.  17829 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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