Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Raúl Villegas Marín: The Traps of the Heresiological Discourse: “Pelagianism” in the British and Irish Sources

References to Pelagianism in sources from, or relating to, late antique and early medieval Britain -ranging from Prosper of Aquitaine’s Chronicle (430s) to Rhigyfarch’s Life of David (late 11th century) and Jocelin of Furness’ Life of Kentigern (late 12th century)-, as well as the use of Pelagius’ Expositions of Thirteen Epistles of Paul by Irish writers, have led some scholars to talk about the “Pelagian influence” on the 5th to early 7th centuries “Celtic churches” from Britain and Ireland. Nevertheless, leaving aside the vexed questionof the “Celtic Christianity”, the notion of a “Pelagian influence” on the British and Irish churches also raises problems: what did this influence consist of? Did “Pelagianism / Pelagian” mean the same to all the authors who made use of this heresiological label, from Prosper to Jocelin? This communication aims at providing a relational and contextual approach to the uses of “Pelagianism” by these authors.

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