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The Transmission of SinAugustine and the Pre-Augustinian Sources$
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Pier Franco Beatrice

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199751419

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199751419.001.0001

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Traducianism, Original Sin, and Infant Baptism in the West

Traducianism, Original Sin, and Infant Baptism in the West

(p.223) 13 Traducianism, Original Sin, and Infant Baptism in the West
The Transmission of Sin

Pier Franco Beatrice

Adam Kamesar

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the traducianism of Tertullian and his role as a “precursor” of the notion of original sin. It argues that despite his acceptance of the traducianist explanation of the origin of the soul, Tertullian cannot be legitimately numbered among those Fathers who prepared the way for Augustine and his elaboration of the doctrine of original sin. The definitive confirmation of this view comes from his opposition to the practice of baptizing infants. From this same circumstance, however, we learn that the doctrine of original sin must have been in circulation in Tertullian's day in the Christian communities of Africa Proconsularis. It is precisely in these circles, heavily influenced by Encratism, that we need to look for the missing links to Augustine's doctrine.

Keywords:   original sin, St. Augustine, Tertullian, baptism, traducianism

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