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Pelagianism

(1,893 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
1. Definition Pelagianism is an important theological trend that was an offshoot of a fourth-century ascetic movement (Asceticism 2). It takes its name from Pelagius (ca. 354-after 418), a British (Irish?) monk, who went to Rome in about 385. 2. Pelagius’s Teaching The preaching of Pelagius had a practical ascetic thrust. He attacked a Christianity that had no results. With his demand that the whole church should be holy, he gained numerous adherents among the clergy and nobility, among them Celestius (5th cent.). In a commentary on Paul’s epistles (406–9), Pelagius took iss…

False Decretals

(631 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
The False Decretals (also known as Pseudoisidorian Decretals) are the most influential part of a comprehensive collection of church statutes that also includes the Collectio Hispana Gallica Augustodunensis, the Capitularies of Benedict the Levite, and the Capitula Angilramni. They had their origin in approximately 850 in the kingdom of the West Franks. Though naming Isidore Mercator of Seville as their author, they seem to have been written by clergy of the archbishopric of Reims. For their historical background we must look to the growing integration of the church in…