Grace for Grace

Grace for Grace

Alexander Y. Hwang
Brian J. Matz
Augustine Casiday
Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 320
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt7zswdx
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  • Book Info
    Grace for Grace
    Book Description:

    The contributors to Grace for Grace focus on the debates on grace and free will inspired by Augustine's later teachings on grace and the various reactions to it. In both popular and scholarly literature, the conflict has been traditionally referred to as the "Semi-Pelagian Controversy." For several decades, scholars have distanced themselves from that overly-simplistic and inaccurate portrayal. This book intends to solidify a disparate movement of scholarly thought and offer a secure basis for renewed study of the persons, texts, and events of this critical period in the reception of Augustine in the Early Middle Ages. This volume brings together new perspectives, based on fresh study of a wealth of primary sources, from an international team of scholars to explore the intra-church debates over grace and free will, after Augustine and Pelagius.

    eISBN: 978-0-8132-2602-6
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. PREFACE
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. xi-xxvi)
    REBECCA HARDEN WEAVER

    The disputes over grace that arose in the fifth and early sixth centuries in the West reveal not only the absence of any normative doctrine of grace but also the lack of a consensus on the subject. By the end of 418, Augustine of Hippo and the North African Church had effectively condemned the views of Pelagius and those who agreed with him. They accomplished this feat with the help of the emperor Honorius and two bishops of Rome, Innocent I and his successor Zosimus. However, Augustine’s own teaching on grace had raised questions and misgivings even among those who...

  5. ABBREVIATIONS
    (pp. xxvii-xxviii)
  6. CHRONOLOGY OF KEY EVENTS
    (pp. xxix-xxxii)
  7. 1 THE BACKGROUND: Augustine and the Pelagian Controversy
    (pp. 1-13)
    EUGENE TESELLE

    The Pelagian controversy had its origin in two doctrinal questions.¹ One concerned the effect of the sin of Adam and Eve upon their descendants. Did it cause moral weakness, mortality, or perhaps even guilt? Or were they created in the same condition as later humanity? The other concerned the ability of sinners to return to God. Was this within the power of their free will? Or were they able to do it only with divine assistance, and perhaps even because the process was initiated by divine grace?

    In the West there were many who followed the doctrine of Cyprian that...

  8. 2 1 TIMOTHY 2:4 AND THE BEGINNINGS OF THE MASSALIAN CONTROVERSY
    (pp. 14-34)
    ROLAND TESKE

    InDe vocatione omnium gentium, which it is now agreed that Prosper of Aquitaine wrote ca. 450, he says of 1 Tim. 2:4, “When those who love slanderous struggles read these things, they will say that by such arguments we contradict the apostle who states that God wills that all human beings be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.”¹ The things that Prosper has been saying and that, he suspects, will lead those people to claim that he is contradicting Saint Paul are that scripture at times seems to speak of all human beings when it means...

  9. 3 PAUCI PERFECTAE GRATIAE INTREPIDI AMATORES: The Augustinians in Marseilles
    (pp. 35-50)
    ALEXANDER Y. HWANG

    In 426 Augustine received letters from two admirers in Marseilles, Prosper of Aquitaine and Hilary of Marseille.¹ Both letters informed Augustine about the growing controversy over his latest teachings on grace—predestination in particular—among thedoctores Gallicaniin and around Marseilles.² Prosper referred to the devotees of Augustine in Marseilles as a “few intrepid lovers of perfect grace.”³ This chapter will detail the origin and development of these “intrepid lovers” who were confident that Augustine’s doctrine of grace was the expression of “perfect grace.”

    Marseilles and its immediate surroundings was one of the reception centers for the displaced Gallo-Roman...

  10. 4 PROSPER’S “CRYPTO-PELAGIANS”: De ingratis and the Carmen de prouidentia Dei
    (pp. 51-71)
    RAÚL VILLEGAS MARÍN

    In 1539 S. Gryphe published at Lyons the most complete edition of Prosper of Aquitaine’s works available at the time. Among them was an extensivecarmenwhich Gryphe edited under the epigraphDe prouidentia diuina D. Prosperi Opusculumbased on a manuscript that is now lost.¹ TheCarmen de prouidentia Dei—henceforth abbreviatedCdp—is a poetic composition by which the author, moved by a deep sense of pastoral responsibility, attempted to address the crisis of faith which many of his fellow countrymen were undergoing due to the economic, social, and political instability as a result of the arrival and...

  11. 5 “LES VERS SERVENT AUX SAINTS”: Didactic Poetry and Anti-Heretical Polemic in the Carmen de Ingratis
    (pp. 72-96)
    JÉRÉMY DELMULLE

    In hisPoëme de la Grace(1720), a long anti-Molinist piece based on Prosper’s writings, Louis Racine—“petit fils d’un grand père,” as Voltaire puts it—pays tribute to his model as follows:

    Disciple d’Augustin, et marchant sur sa trace,

    Prosper s’unit à lui pour défendre la grace.

    Il poursuivit l’erreur dans ses derniers détours,

    et contr’elle des vers emprunta le secours.

    Les vers servent aux saints: la vive poësie

    fait triompher la foi, fait trembler l’hérésie.¹

    As Augustine’s disciple, and walking in his footsteps, Prosper joined forces with him to fight for grace. He pursued heresy in all its...

  12. 6 PROSPER’S PNEUMATOLOGY: The Development of an Augustinian
    (pp. 97-113)
    THOMAS L. HUMPHRIES JR.

    An essay on the development of a particular theologian’s ideas must take several things for granted, including which texts the author wrote and when he wrote them. In the case of Prosper of Aquitaine, historians and theologians meet a perplexing figure for whom such simple matters as which texts he wrote and when he wrote them are in dispute. The case is only further complicated when we attempt to address the extent to which Prosper engages the thought of Augustine. Many have supposed that Prosper’s theology is a pure form of “Augustinianism” that is better than other Gallic theological systems....

  13. 7 JOHN CASSIAN AND AUGUSTINE
    (pp. 114-130)
    BONIFACE RAMSEY

    The careers and reputations of Augustine of Hippo and John Cassian have been linked for sixteen centuries in both life and death. Cassian, who lived from about 360 until the early 430s, was Augustine’s contemporary and, along with him, a product of Latin culture. Unlike him, however, Cassian had extensive exposure to the world of the eastern Mediterranean, since he lived in Palestine, Egypt, and Constantinople, where he was ordained a deacon by John Chrysostom, over the course of perhaps twenty years. He was a theologian of repute with a wide audience, as of course was Augustine, too. But Cassian’s...

  14. 8 VINCENT OF LÉRINS’S COMMONITORIUM, OBJECTIONES, AND EXCERPTA: Responding to Augustine’s Legacy in Fifth-Century Gaul
    (pp. 131-154)
    AUGUSTINE CASIDAY

    Because St. Vincent of Lérins was contemporaneous to the authors, debates, and events that are central to the chapters in this volume, scholars have for centuries attempted to identify his place within the controversies stoked by Augustine and by Pelagius. Primary evidence for where to place him is frequently taken from Vincent’sCommonitorium, a work generally recognized as presenting an important perspective on the antiquity and universality of the catholic faith (if one that was probably idiosyncratic for its time). As a single specimen from a period when Vincent’s influence was felt, and commented upon, we may note that the...

  15. 9 FULGENTIUS OF RUSPE ON THE SAVING WILL OF GOD
    (pp. 155-179)
    FRANCIS X. GUMERLOCK

    While early Greek biblical commentators experienced little or no difficulty interpreting the New Testament passage which says that God “wills all humans to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4), for Augustine and those who followed his later views on predestination, interpreting this verse became a Herculean task.¹ Augustine’s attempt to reconcile divine predestination with this assertion of God’s universal saving will resulted in at least five different interpretations in his writings.² After Augustine’s death, Prosper of Aquitaine devoted two entire booksDe vocatione omnium gentiumto the explanation of this one brief...

  16. 10 AUGUSTINE, PELAGIUS, AND THE SOUTHERN GALLIC TRADITION: Faustus of Riez’s De gratia Dei
    (pp. 180-207)
    MATTHEW J. PEREIRA

    One of Faustus’s most significant contributions to the southern Gallic theological tradition was his critical use of the twin authorities of the Scriptures and the Church Fathers, which reflected the ascetical tradition of south Gaul a generation after their initial encounter with the Augustinians. Faustus’sDe gratiaproposed a view of grace that sought to maintain both the southern Gallic ascetic tradition and the now-established orthodoxy of Augustine, and the continued heterodoxy of the Pelagians.¹ Faustus’s treatise was also at the center of a debate in Constantinople that involved Scythian monks, African exiled bishops, Pelagianism, Augustine’s orthodoxy, and Rome.² The...

  17. 11 CAESARIUS OF ARLES, PREVENIENT GRACE, AND THE SECOND COUNCIL OF ORANGE
    (pp. 208-234)
    RALPH W. MATHISEN

    In hisDe gratia, written ca. 471 after the priest Lucidus had been condemned for his predestinarian beliefs at councils at Arles and Lyon, bishop Faustus of Riez rhetorically associated Pelagius—whom everyone everywhere condemned—with Augustine, saying,

    Here, therefore, both errors contradict themselves…. One [i.e., Augustine] stresses only grace and the other [i.e., Pelagius] only labor, disparate by the kind of beliefs, but similar in impiety through their equally divergent approach, they hiss with the spirit of a single serpent, of whom one, that is the supporter of grace alone, with a distinguished facade hides his venom under the...

  18. 12 AUGUSTINE, THE CAROLINGIANS, AND DOUBLE PREDESTINATION
    (pp. 235-270)
    BRIAN J. MATZ

    This chapter uncovers the legacy of the patristic debate over predestination during the ninth century, when the topic came up again in Gaul. During the patristic period, the debate over Augustine’s ideas about predestination was resolved at the II Council of Orange (529); in the ninth century, however, the debate more or less tires out rather than formally concludes. One side of the debate in the ninth century announced that God predestined both eternal glory for his elect and eternal damnation for those from whom he refrained to give grace. This group was known as the double-predestinarians, for there was...

  19. 13 AN EASTERN VIEW: Theodore of Mopsuestia’s Against the Defenders of Original Sin
    (pp. 271-294)
    NESTOR KAVVADAS

    The controversy between Augustine and thedoctores Gallicani, as well as its predecessor, the Pelagian controversy, have rightly been regarded as most typical of Western, Latin, patristic theology and as indicators of its difference from Eastern, foremost Greek, theological thought.¹ The Pelagian controversy as well as the subsequent predestination controversy left most Eastern theologians, who appear unaware of its critical issues, uninterested.² As is well known, Pelagius was acquitted of the charge of heresy by a synod held in Jerusalem (415) just by admitting that the actions of human free will cannot be perfected without the help of divine grace....

  20. CONTRIBUTORS
    (pp. 295-296)
  21. INDEX
    (pp. 297-302)
  22. Back Matter
    (pp. 303-303)