Friday, 17 May 2019

Giulio Malavasi: Pelagianism as heresiological category in the East from the Council of Ephesus (431) to Photius.

Although the Pelagian controversy was a Western theological debate, the main Pelagian leaders (Pelagius, Caelestius and Julian of Aeclaunm) found shelter in the East for some years, up to the Council of Ephesus (431), when they were finally condemned. Their eastern sojourn left traces not only during the years in which they lived in the East, but echoes also in the following centuries. The aim of this paper is twofold. First, it will be provided a list, as complete as possible, of the references to Pelagianism and to its leaders in Eastern sources from the years immediately preceding the council of Ephesus up to Photius’ Bibliotheca. Most of the sources were composed during the council of Ephesus or in the years immediately after or before. Also the sources that mention Pelagianism after the council of Ephesus (431) will be listed and analysed. The second objective of this paper is to analyse a specific heresiological strategy frequentely used in the East (but also in the West): the equation between Nestorius/Nestorianism (or less frequently Theodore of Mopsuestia) and Pelagius/Pelagianism or Caelestius/Caelestians. For instance, at Ephesus, both the Alexandrine and the Antiochene parties charged each others of being Pelagian (or Caelestian) and of hosting members of this group. It will be studied the different historical contexts in which this polemical representation was used and the ways in which this polemical label spread.

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