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The Myth of Pelagianism$
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Ali Bonner

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266397

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266397.001.0001

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Pelagius did not Invent Anything: All the Teachings in His Writings Had Already Been Widely Disseminated in Ascetic Paraenesis (Part I)

Pelagius did not Invent Anything: All the Teachings in His Writings Had Already Been Widely Disseminated in Ascetic Paraenesis (Part I)

Chapter:
(p.29) 2 Pelagius did not Invent Anything: All the Teachings in His Writings Had Already Been Widely Disseminated in Ascetic Paraenesis (Part I)
Source:
The Myth of Pelagianism
Author(s):

Ali Bonner

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197266397.003.0002

Chapter 2 examines Athanasius of Alexandria’s Life of Antony and the two Latin translations of it, showing how all three versions stressed that human nature was innately inclined to goodness and that man had free will; they also presented a co-operative (synergistic) model of the relationship between divine and human agency in the creation of human virtue. The chapter also provides an analysis of the use of the word grace in these texts, showing that it referred to God’s gifts and not to an absolute form of prevenient grace: there is evidence showing that all three versions of the Life of Antony stated that grace was given in accord with merit, which was one of the ideas labelled ‘Pelagian’ and heretical by Augustine of Hippo.

Keywords:   Athanasius of Alexandria, Evagrius of Antioch, free will, human nature, grace, original sin

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