Pelagius and Pelagians

Mathijs Lamberigts

in The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Studies

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780199271566
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

 Pelagius and Pelagians

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The Pelagian controversy is generally considered to have been the first western theological controversy. The debate between Pelagius and his followers on the one hand, and Augustine, Jerome, Paulus Orosius, and the bishops of Rome on the other, deeply influenced theological developments in the West. Due to intense research over the last 50 years or so, it has become clear that Pelagianism as a well-organized movement never existed. Pelagianism as a consistent doctrine is a construction of its opponents, and Pelagius himself probably did not always recognize his own views in this construction. Such a construction does not do justice to the theological pluralism that existed at the beginning of the fifth century. However, the way in which Julian of Aeclanum criticized Augustine made clear that the Augustinian positions had some problems with the creation of the soul, the human nature of Christ, and baptism because of original sin.

Keywords: western theological controversy; Pelagian controversy; Pelagianism; theological pluralism; Augustine; Julian of Aeclanum

Article.  10257 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Christianity ; Religious Studies

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