Monday, October 01, 2007

Speaking of Dante's three dreams

As we look at the three dreams of the pilgrim (cantos 9, 19, 27), we might want to consider if, and how, they address the status of the pilgrim soul -- e.g., how might Dante have viewed Pelagianism, a heresy we glanced at when we were reading Augustine last year?

Pelagianism is a theological theory named after Pelagius. It is the belief that original sin did not taint human nature (which, being created from God, was divine), and that mortal will is still capable of choosing good or evil without Divine aid. Thus, Adam's sin was "to set a bad example" for his progeny, but his actions did not have the other consequences imputed to Original Sin. Pelagianism views the role of Jesus as "setting a good example" for the rest of humanity (thus counteracting Adam's bad example). In short, humanity has full control, and thus full responsibility, for its own salvation in addition to full responsibility for every sin (the latter insisted upon by both proponents and opponents of Pelagianism).

No comments: