The Anti-Pelagian Christology of Augustine of Hippo, 396-430

Hardcover | December 15, 2012

byDominic Keech

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Evading established accounts of the development of doctrine in the Patristic era, Augustine's Christology has yet to receive the critical scholarly attention it deserves. This study focuses on Augustine's understanding of the humanity of Christ, as it emerged in dialogue with his anti-Pelagianconception of human freedom and Original Sin. By reinterpreting the Pelagian controversy as a Western continuation of the Origenist controversy before it, Dominic Keech argues that Augustine's reading of Origen lay at the heart of his Christological response to Pelagianism. Augustine is therefore situated within the network of fourth and fifthcentury Western theologians concerned to defend Origen against accusations of Platonic error and dangerous heresy. Opening with a survey of scholarship on Augustine's Christology and anti-Pelagian theology, Keech proceeds by redrawing the narrative of Augustine's engagement with the issues andpersonalities involved in the Origenist and Pelagian controversies. He highlights the predominant motif of Augustine's anti-Pelagian Christology: the humanity of Christ, 'in the likeness of sinful flesh' (Rom. 8.3), and argues that this is elaborated through a series of receptions from the work ofAmbrose and Origen. The theological problems raised by this Christology - in a Christ who is exempt from sin in a way which unbalances his human nature - are explored by examining Augustine's understanding of Apollinarianism, and his equivocal statements on the origin of the human soul. This forms the backdrop for thebook's speculative conclusion, that the inconsistencies in Augustine's Christology can be explained by placing it in an Origenian framework, in which the soul of Christ remains sinless in the Incarnation because of its relationship to the eternal Word, after the fall of souls to embodiment.

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Evading established accounts of the development of doctrine in the Patristic era, Augustine's Christology has yet to receive the critical scholarly attention it deserves. This study focuses on Augustine's understanding of the humanity of Christ, as it emerged in dialogue with his anti-Pelagianconception of human freedom and Original Si...

Dominic Keech is Assistant Curate at the Parish of Wantage, Diocese of Oxford, UK.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.98 inPublished:December 15, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199662231

ISBN - 13:9780199662234

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Recovering an Augustinian Christology2. Augustine and Origen: the fathers of Pelagianism3. A Divine Humanity in Sin's Likeness4. Augustine, Origen and the Exegesis of Romans 8.35. Apollinaris Redux? Augustine and the Psychology of Christ6. The Election of the Dominical Human: Augustine and the unfallen soul of ChristConclusion