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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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The Manuscript Evidence and its Implications

The Manuscript Evidence and its Implications

(p.288) 7 The Manuscript Evidence and its Implications
The Myth of Pelagianism

Ali Bonner

British Academy

This chapter presents data on the numbers of surviving manuscript copies of Pelagius’ works. The large number of surviving manuscript copies shows that, travelling under false attributions, Pelagius’ writings were widely available throughout the Middle Ages. The chapter offers an analysis of the manuscript evidence and its significance, showing that without an external authority identifying a work as by Pelagius, his works passed as orthodox and did not attract comment. It also discusses the evidence of marginalia, showing that readers could not see a difference between Pelagius’ letters and Jerome’s; a discussion of further myths about Pelagius—that his works were dangerous to Christianity, that they were expelled from Christian teaching, and that questions over the Biblical account of human nature and how salvation was determined were ever resolved in western Christianity.

Keywords:   manuscripts, marginalia, On the christian life, manuscript attribution, Jerome

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