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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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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 16 September 2021

No Organised Movement Existed, and No Individual Held the Collection of Views Attributed to ‘Pelagianism’

No Organised Movement Existed, and No Individual Held the Collection of Views Attributed to ‘Pelagianism’

Chapter:
(p.197) 4 No Organised Movement Existed, and No Individual Held the Collection of Views Attributed to ‘Pelagianism’
Source:
The Myth of Pelagianism
Author(s):

Ali Bonner

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197266397.003.0004

Evidence shows that there was too much variation of ideas within the group identified as ‘Pelagians’ for the idea of a separate, organised group to be tenable. On issues alleged to define ‘Pelagianism’ there is no agreement in texts identified as ‘Pelagian’. Analysis shows that Pelagius’ opponents created the myth of a discrete and dangerous group by asserting links between individuals, and that what actually existed was the ascetic movement, which was very broad and unorganised. The chapter presents an accurate historical analysis of the enthusiasm for asceticism that swept through Christianity, and the cultural factors that generated so much ascetic literature, amongst it Pelagius’ writings..

Keywords:   ascetic movement, Rufinus of Syria, Melania the Younger, ‘Pelagianism’, ‘Caspari Corpus’ letters, Caelestius

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