Pelagius


Pelagius
/peuh lay"jee euhs/, n.
360?-420?, English monk and theologian who lived in Rome: teachings opposed by St. Augustine.

* * *

▪ Christian theologian
born c. 354, , probably Britain
died after 418, , possibly Palestine

      monk and theologian whose heterodox theological system known as Pelagianism (q.v.) emphasized the primacy of human effort in spiritual salvation.

      Coming to Rome c. 380, Pelagius, though not a priest, became a highly regarded spiritual director for both clergy and laymen. The rigorous asceticism of his adherents acted as a reproach to the spiritual sloth of many Roman Christians, whose moral standards greatly distressed him. He blamed Rome's moral laxity on the doctrine of divine grace that he heard a bishop cite from the Confessions of Saint Augustine, who in his prayer for continence beseeched God to grant whatever grace the divine will determined. Pelagius attacked this teaching on the grounds that it imperilled the entire moral law and soon gained a considerable following at Rome. Henceforth his closest collaborator was a lawyer named Celestius.

      After the fall of Rome to the Visigoth chieftain Alaric in 410, Pelagius and Celestius went to Africa. There they encountered the hostile criticism of Augustine, who published several denunciatory letters concerning their doctrine, particularly Pelagius' insistence on man's basically good moral nature and on man's own responsibility for voluntarily choosing Christian asceticism for his spiritual advancement.

      Pelagius left for Palestine c. 412. There, although accused of heresy at the synod of Jerusalem in 415, he succeeded in clearing himself and avoiding censure. In response to further attacks from Augustine and the Latin biblical scholar Jerome, Pelagius wrote De libero arbitrio (“On Free Will”) in 416, which resulted in the condemnation of his teaching by two African councils. In 417 Pope Innocent I endorsed the condemnations and excommunicated Pelagius and Celestius. Innocent's successor, Zosimus, at first pronounced him innocent on the basis of Pelagius' Libellus fidei (“Brief Statement of Faith”), but after renewed investigation at the council of Carthage in 418, Zosimus confirmed the council's nine canons condemning Pelagius. Nothing more is known of Pelagius after this date.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pelagius — (ca. 354 ndash; ca. 420/440) was an ascetic monk who denied the doctrine of original sin, later developed by Augustine of Hippo, and was declared a heretic by the Council of Carthage. His interpretation of a doctrine of free will became known as… …   Wikipedia

  • Pelagius I —     Pope Pelagius I     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Pope Pelagius I     Date of birth unknown; died 3 March, 561, was a Roman of noble family; his father, John, seems to have been vicar of one of the two civil dioceses , or districts, into which… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Pelagius II —     Pelagius II     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Pelagius II     The date of whose birth is unknown, seemingly a native of Rome, but of Gothic descent, as his father s name was Winigild, died in Rome, 7 Feb., 590. He succeeded Benedict I, when the… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Pelagius — (griechisch: πέλαγος [n.] pelagos = „[offene] See“, „[offenes] Meer“, „Ozean“; latinisiert: Mann vom Meere) ist der Name folgender Personen: Pelagius (Heiliger) († 282/284), römischer Märtyrer (wahrscheinlich fiktiv) Pelagius (Theologe) (360–435) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Pelagius II. — Pelagius II. († 7. Februar 590) war Bischof von Rom vom 26. November 579 bis zum 7. Februar 590. Pelagius II. war von Geburt Römer, sein Vater allerdings war Gote. Sein Pontifikat fiel in die Zeit der Bedrohung Roms durch die Langobarden. Nachdem …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Pelagius I. — Pelagius I. († 3. (4.?) März 561 in Rom) war Bischof von Rom vom 16. April 556 bis zu seinem Tode. Er entstammte einer römischen Adelsfamilie. Da er sich im Dreikapitelstreit – mit seinem Vorgänger Vigilius – der kaiserlichen Verurteilung der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Pelagius — Pelagius, I. Ketzer: 1) (eigentlich Morgan), Mönch, aus England od. Schottland, im 5. Jahrh., wandte sich mit seinem Schüler Cölestius um 400 nach Rom u. bei dem Einfall der Gothen in Italien 409 nach Sicilien u. von da nach Palästina.… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Pelagĭus — (P. Fr. Cuv.), Robbengattung, gebildet aus der im Adriatischen u. Mittelmeer lebenden Seemönchsrobbe (Phoca monachus Herm.) …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Pelagĭus — Pelagĭus, 1) Name zweier Päpste: P. I., 16. April 556 bis 3. (4.) März 561, ein geborner Römer, ward 536–545 päpstlicher Gesandter (Apokrisiarius) in Konstantinopel, in welcher Stellung er zur Verdammung des Origenes beitrug. Da er sich in den… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Pelagius — Pelagĭus, zwei Päpste. – P. I., 555 560, erregte durch seine Unterwürfigkeit gegen Kaiser Justinian im Dreikapitelstreit ein Schisma in der Kirche des Westens. – P. II., 578 590, suchte vergebens dieses Schisma zu überwinden, nahm schon… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Pelagius [2] — Pelagĭus, Stifter der Pelagianer (s.d.) …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.