Defense of St. Augustine

Defense of St. Augustine

Defense of St. Augustine

Defense of St. Augustine

Excerpt

St. Prosper of Aquitaine, the author of the De vocatione omniurn gentium , was the chief opponent of the anti-Augustinian reaction known in history as Semi-Pelagianism. Arising in the south of Gaul during Augustine's last years, the Semi-Pelagian opposition continued unabated till the death of its main representative, Abbot Cassian, in 436, when it subsided for a time, to flare up again twenty-five years later. It is in the first phase of these controversies that Prosper was the acknowledged leader of the Augustinians.

Of his life little is known besides what appears from his own works. Born in Aquitaine, he lived at Marseilles when the controversies broke out. He was a layman connected with the monasteries of Marseilles. After Cassian's death, he left Gaul for Rome, where he seems to have been a secretary at the papal court under St. Leo I. He lived there till after 455. The year of his death is not known.

Prosper was both a theologian, who wrote in prose and verse, and a historian, author of a Chronicon .7 In the present volume we collect his theological works in prose which constitute his defense of Augustine against the Semi-Pelagians.

PROSPER'S CAMPAIGN FOR AUGUSTINE

Augustine's writings on grace and predestination against the Pelagians, with his insistence on the absolute gratuity of grace (if grace is not gratuitous but deserved, it is no longer grace) and on the mysterious ways of God saving the predestined in His mercy and in His justice leaving the nonpre-

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