Pelagius

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For other people called Pelagius, see Pelagius (disambiguation)

Pelagius was a British monk who lived from approximately 360 to 435 [1] (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11604a.htm).

Background

A preacher, Pelagius visited Rome, and became concerned about the moral laxity of society he saw there. He blamed this laxity on the theology of divine grace preached by St Augustine of Hippo, among others. Pelagius was of the opinion that Augustine's teaching amounted to nothing short of introducing Manicheanism into Christianity. He accused Augustine of elevating evil to the same status as God and teaching pagan fatalism as if it were a Christian doctrine. While he is held up as the originator of the doctrine of Pelagianism, some argue that the monk may have never actually held that doctrine and has been subject to revision by his enemies.

When Alaric sacked Rome in 410, Pelagius fled to Carthage, where he came into further conflict with Augustine. His follower Coelestius was condemned by a church council there. Pelagius then fled to Jerusalem, but Augustine's followers were soon on his trail; Orosius went to Jerusalem to warn St Jerome against him. Pelagius succeeded in clearing himself at a diocesan synod in Jerusalem and a provincial one in Diospolis (Lydda), though Augustine said that his being cleared at those councils must have been the result of Pelagius lying about his teachings.

Augustine's version of Pelagius's teachings about sin and atonement were condemned as heresy at the local Council of Carthage in 417. Due to the argument that his work may have been subject to revision and suppression by his enemies (followers of St Augustine and the Church leadership as a whole at that time), a fair analysis of his doctrines is likely difficult if not impossible.


External links

nl:Pelagius pl:Pelagiusz (mnich)

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