<i>Apollinaris Redux</i>? Augustine and the Psychology of Christ

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

Apollinaris Redux? Augustine and the Psychology of Christ

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Chapter 5 examines Julian of Eclanum’s accusation that Augustine’s definition of inherited sin must deny his Christ a fully human soul. First surveying Augustine’s understanding of Apollinarianism, it then finds his broader conception of human will and knowledge problematic, where it repeats Origen’s confusion between fully intentional acts and the first stirrings of sinful desire; and where his conception of concupiscence pushes these stirrings into the bodily realm, of the autonomy of the genitals and ecstasy of orgasm. This results in an uneven Christology: Augustine characterizes Christ as a human with a perfect divine will, omniscient throughout his earthly life; yet he also suggests that Christ exercises a distinctively human will that requires salvation, and is similar to the will of sinful humanity in the life of grace. Julian’s claim is found to have some weight, leading to the question of the origin of Christ’s soul in Augustine’s thought.

Keywords: Julian of Eclanum; Apollinarianism; Stoicism; De Civitate Dei; carnal concupiscence (concupiscentia carnalis); impassibility (ἀπαθεια); passions; human knowledge; first movements (κινηματα); Arianism

Chapter.  24007 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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