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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 Concept of Original Sin as Popular and Manichean Heresy

The Concept of Original Sin as Popular and Manichean Heresy

(p.207) 12 The Concept of Original Sin as Popular and Manichean Heresy
The Transmission of Sin

Pier Franco Beatrice

Oxford University Press

This chapter first demonstrates how Greek Fathers opposed the doctrine of original sin from the beginning with all of their theological and pastoral authority. They felt it to be alien to the main body of orthodox belief, and therefore judged it to be heretical. The analysis then turns to the accusations of plebeian ignorance and Manicheism that the Greek theologians cast against the advocates of original sin, which is found almost verbatim in the arguments employed by Julian of Eclanum. The accusations of Manicheism that Julian makes against Augustine, which echo certain polemical themes in the teaching of Pelagius and Caelestius, cannot be confirmed from the actual facts. They simply reflect the transfer into the Latin-speaking West of the polemics conducted by the Greek bishops and heresiologists against the notion of original sin, with all of its anthropological and ethical implications, as it was adopted among the Encratites and Messalians.

Keywords:   original sin, St. Augustine, Theodore of Mopsuestia, Greek Fathers, Manicheism, Julian of Eclanum

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