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Reading: Intellect and Grace in Augustine of Hippo


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Intellect and Grace in Augustine of Hippo


Josef Lössl

Cardiff UniversityNone
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In 1964 Rudolph Lorenz published an article in the Zeitschrift für Kirchengeschichte entitled “Gnade und Erkenntnis bei Augustinus”, in which he discussed links between Augustine’s concepts of intellect and grace and possible implications with regard to Augustine’s teachings on Predestination and Original Sin. This paper takes up some of Lorenz’s points and tries to develop them further. It concludes that one of the reasons why Augustine was so adamant in defending these controversial doctrines and why he was unable to share the concerns of contemporaries regarding their controversial nature was the fact that he understood them in the context of his intellectualist framework. For him this made them “comprehensible”. At the same time, not framing the human intellectual endeavour in the context of a teaching on grace would have meant for Augustine a depressing reduction of the most essential and fulfilling form of human activity to a mere natural process, while in his view it originated gratuitously in God and linked each human being to eternal salvation in Christ and communion with God.
How to Cite: Lössl, J., 2013. Intellect and Grace in Augustine of Hippo. Journal for Late Antique Religion and Culture, 7, pp.15–25. DOI:
Published on 15 Dec 2013.
Peer Reviewed


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