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Will And Grace: Aspects Of Judaising In Pelagianism In Light Of Rabbinic And Patristic Exegesis Of Genesis

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Chapter Summary

Pelagius is generally depicted as believing that God's Grace was manifested through the dual gift of Free Will and the Law (and Gospel); so that one would know what is best to freely choose and would sin if, when choosing freely, one nevertheless disobeyed God. Augustine, on the other hand, demurred. Adam's sin brought mortality and libidinous sexual desire upon all humanity, depriving all subsequent generations of Free Will, leaving them unable to perform God's laws without God's Grace, freely given - independently of obedience or even faith - to an undeserving elect. This chapter examines the various Pelagian and Augustinian ideas on Original Sin, Will, and Grace. Following the survey of material which centres on exegeses of Genesis, it turns to comparison with rabbinic textual traditions. The chapter highlights Patristic opinions which will, perhaps, mutually illuminate one another. It begins with Pelagius and his discomfort with Augustine.

Keywords: Augustine; free will; Genesis; God's Grace; Judaising; original sin; Patristic Exegesis; Pelagius; Rabbinic

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