The Election of the Dominical Human: Augustine and the Unfallen Soul 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

The Election of the Dominical Human: Augustine and the Unfallen Soul of Christ

Show Summary Details


Chapter 6 addresses the issue of the origin of the soul in Augustine’s thought, and its impact on his Christology. It observes with R. J. O’Connell that Augustine never gives a definitive answer to this question, and never fully discounts the Platonist (thereafter Origenist) theory of a fall from souls to earthly bodies from a premundane realm. It revisits Augustine’s description of Christ as ‘dominical human’ (homo dominicus) and ‘assumed human’ (assumptus homo), reading both as suggestive of an Origenist Christology. This is further substantiated by examining his depiction of humanity, created seminally ‘in Adam’; and his identification of Christ assuming a humanity ‘without foregoing merits’, and by implication pre-existent. An analysis of his Christological exegesis of Wisdom 8.19 (‘I received a good soul by lot’) concludes these fragments, which, when pieced together, point to a latent understanding of the humanity of Christ drawn from the thought of Origen of Alexandria.

Keywords: soul (origin of); soul (fall of); R. J. O’Connell; De Peccatorum MeritisDe Anima et eius Origine; dominical human (dominicus homo); assumed human (assumptus homo); creation in Adam; grace Christology; Origen; De Principiis

Chapter.  23899 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.