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Augustine’s Anthropology

Augustine’s Anthropology

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Augustine’s Anthropology

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  1. Augustine’s Anthropology General theories of human nature. The main contours of Christian anthropology. Irenaean anthropology. Augustine’s anthropology.

  2. General theories of human nature • What kind of world do we live in? Background believes about the world. • Who are we? Background beliefs about human nature. • What went wrong? Diagnosis of the problem. • How could things be made right? Prescription/ solution. (Adopted from Leslie Stevenson, SevenTheoriesofHumanNature, with some modifications)

  3. Christian anthropology • The world is created by God and depends upon God. • We are created in the image and likeness of God. We are not self-made. • Problem: sin. • Solution: God in Christ reconciles the world to himself. Ultimate destiny: heaven or hell.

  4. Irenaean anthropology • ORIGINAL STATE. Child-like, changeable. • FIRST TRANSGRESSION. Adam disobeyed God out of thoughtlessness and curiosity. He was deceived by the Devil. • CONSEQUENCES. Mortality, weakness of will, proneness to sin. Freedom of will essentially intact. We learn by making mistakes. • METHOD OF TRANSMISSION. All human beings were present in Adam.

  5. Adam’s transgression in Paul • “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death came through sin, and so death spread to all because all have sinned…” (Rom. 5: 12). • “For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead has also come through a human being; for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ” (1 Cor. 15: 21-22).

  6. Grace and Freedom: the Dilemma • Salvation is a matter of grace. • Human beings are in a real sense free (it is possible to say ‘no’ to God’s offer of salvation).

  7. Pelagius • British theologian & exegete • Taught in Rome in late fourth-early fifth century • Anthropology of ascetic movement • Emphasis on free will & goodness of human nature Sorry, Pelagius’s portrait is unavailable for historical reasons

  8. Augustine timeline • 354 Born in Thagaste • 371 Begins his studies at Carthage • 374 Becomes involved with the Manicheans • 384 Prof. of rhetoric in Milan • 387 Baptism after a long search for God • 395 Ordained bishop of Hippo • 413 Begins writing The City of God • 418 Becomes involved in Pelagian controversy • 430 Dies in Hippo Regius

  9. Augustine’s understanding of the Fall • ORIGINAL STATE. ‘Original righteousness.’ Adam & Eve were perfect beings, immortal, enjoying uninterrupted vision of God. • THE FALL. The first sin was a premeditated and fully conscious act. • CONSEQUENCES. Mortality & captivity to sin. Freedom of will severely impaired, but not lost entirely. Total inability to choose and to do good without grace. Original guilt. • METHOD OF TRANSMISSION. Original sin is STD. By propagation, not simply by imitation

  10. Gavrilyuk’s Grace Meter Greek Fathers Plato Kant Evagrius Wesley Augustine Calvin Council of Orange Luther Judaism Pelagius Aquinas FREE WILL ALONE GRACE ALONE