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Rethinking Augustine's Early TheologyAn Argument for Continuity$
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Carol Harrison

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199281664

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199281661.001.0001

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Paul

Paul

Chapter:
(p.115) 5 Paul
Source:
Rethinking Augustine's Early Theology
Author(s):

Carol Harrison (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199281661.003.0005

This chapter argues that Augustine’s attempts at interpreting Paul in the mid 390s, culminating in the Ad Simplicianum, must not be read as representing a dramatic break with earlier ideas of human autonomy and the ability of the will to freely choose the good without divine help, but as affirming what he had always held: fallen humanity’s complete and utter dependence upon God’s grace to know, will, and do the good. It demonstrates that his suggestion in the Propositiones — that the free choice of faith is to be counted as a merit which is rewarded by grace — is uncharacteristic of either his earlier or later thought. By considering other works written at the same time (such as the Enarrationes in Psalmos), it is shown that there is a fundamental continuity in his approach to these difficult questions from the very beginning.

Keywords:   Paul, Romans, Ad Simplicianum, initium fidei, Galatians, Jacob, Esau, free will, grace

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