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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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The Pelagian Critique of the Doctrine of Original Sin

The Pelagian Critique of the Doctrine of Original Sin

Chapter:
(p.14) (p.15) 1 The Pelagian Critique of the Doctrine of Original Sin
Source:
The Transmission of Sin
Author(s):

Pier Franco Beatrice

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199751419.003.0002

This chapter sets out the main lines of Pelagian thought on original sin. Essentially it states that babies are born without original sin, and that baptism is a sacrament that grants divine adoption and spiritual elevation to the newborn. Other Pelagians took the view that baptism “for the remission of sins,” if given to newborns, presupposes the existence of some voluntary culpability, which they must have contracted by committing sins in the earliest moments of their earthly life. Augustine takes issue with both of these interpretations, and reaffirms what is for him the only valid explanation for infant baptism, the existence of original sin.

Keywords:   Pelagius, Caelestius, original sin, baptism, Augustine, Pelagians

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