Catholic Culture Solidarity
Catholic Culture Solidarity

4.13 The Heresies—Pelagianism and the Seeds of Calvinism

By Dr. James Papandrea ( bio - articles - email ) | May 22, 2024 | In Way of the Fathers (Podcast)

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Pelagius was so optimistic about human nature and the freedom of the will that he went so far as to deny the reality of original sin and the need for infant baptism. Saint Augustine corrected Pelagius and his followers, but in the heat of the debate he went a bit too far in in the opposite direction, and proposed a doctrine of election that the Church ultimately did not embrace. This episode explores, not only the problems with Pelagianism, but also the problems with its opposite, and the ways in which Saint Augustine inadvertently laid the foundation for the later heresy of Calvinism.


To listen to Mike Aquilina’s episode 38 on Augustine of Hippo (part 1):

To listen to Mike Aquilina’s episode 39 on Augustine of Hippo (part 2):

To listen to Mike Aquilina’s episode 40 on Augustine of Hippo (part 3):

To read St. Augustine’s Confessions:

To read St. Augustine’s On the Proceedings of Pelagius:

To read St. Augustine’s On the Spirit and the Letter:

To read St. Augustine’s On Grace and Free Will:

To read St. Augustine’s On the Soul and its Origin:

To read St. Augustine’s Handbook on Faith, Hope, and Love:

For more on the controversy over Pelagianism, St. Augustine’s rebuttal of it, and the Council of Orange, see the book:
Reading the Church Fathers: A History of the Early Church and the Development of Doctrine:

For more on the concept of the will of God as it relates to God’s sovereignty, human free will, and the submission of the human will to the will of God, see the book:
Praying Like the Early Church: Seven Insights from the Church Fathers to Help You Connect with God:

To connect with Dr. James Papandrea, On YouTube —The Original Church:
Join the conversation in the Original Church Community on Locals:

Dr. Papandrea’s Homepage:

Theme Music: Gaudeamus (Introit for the Feast of All Saints), sung by Jeff Ostrowski. Courtesy of Corpus Christi Watershed:

Dr. James Papandrea is a senior fellow of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology and a Catholic member of the faculty at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary. A theological consultant for EWTN’s series The Heresies, he is also the writer and presenter for The Original Church series on YouTube. See full bio.

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