Sunday, 22 March 2015

Alison Bonner: 'Pelagian' After-Lives: Transmission, Reception, and Inter-textualityPaper title: The manuscript transmission of Pelagius' Letter to Demetrias and its implications

This paper outlines the Medieval transmission of Pelagius' Letter to Demetrias, as uncovered by my work to create a critical edition of the text, and asks whether any implications can be drawn from the scale and nature of its transmission. It discusses the reception of the text as revealed in manuscript marginalia, and the level of understanding among medieval readers of the question of the relationship between free will and prevenient grace. The paper will look at evidence about how the text was perceived, and will propose some conclusions about what the transmission pattern of Letter to Demetrias may imply about the role of the principle of human free will and the idea of the innate goodness of man created in God's image, within the Christian message of salvation. Finally, it will address the question of whether or not there is a tension between the received narrative describing Pelagius' teaching as heretical, and the transmission patterns of his writings.  

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