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Augustine’s Anthropology
1.
2.
3.
4.
General theories of human
nature.
The main contours of Christian
anthropology.
Irenaean anthropology.
Augustine’s anthropology.
General theories of human nature
1.
2.
3.
4.
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, Seven Theories of
Human Nature, with some modifications)
Christian anthropology
1. The world is created by God and depends upon
God.
2. We are created in the image and likeness of God.
We are not self-made.
3. Problem: sin.
4. Solution: God in Christ reconciles the world to
himself. Ultimate destiny: heaven or hell.
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.
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).
Grace and Freedom: the Dilemma
1. Salvation is a matter of grace.
2. Human beings are in a real sense free (it is
possible to say ‘no’ to God’s offer of
salvation).
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
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
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
Gavrilyuk’s Grace Meter
Plato
Kant
Evagrius
FREE Judaism
WILL
ALONE
Greek
Fathers
Pelagius
Wesley
Aquinas
Augustine Calvin
Council
of
Orange
Luther
GRACE
ALONE
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