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Ishmaelites, Hagarenes, Saracens

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Chapter Summary

The chapter begins with Cassian's comments on the promise to Abraham and Abraham's reaction, and then turn to Prosper's. The "spiritual progeny of Abraham" can also be described using technically precise theological terms: they are praesciti et praeordinati-"foreknown and foreordained" unto life everlasting. The chapter points out that Prosper makes a spirited attack on Cassian and that the two are ranged on opposite sides of a debate, which is typically understood in terms of the normativity of Augustine's theology. The study of the history of ancient Christianity has in recent times been too greatly preoccupied with the doctrines and institutions of Christianity, which can-and in fact still has and does-stifle the historical reconstruction of early Christian systems of thought and the philological study of early Christian literature.

Keywords:Abraham's reaction; Augustine's theology; Cassian's comments; Christianity



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