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Augustine and Julian of Aeclanum on human dignity

Lossl, Josef 2020. Augustine and Julian of Aeclanum on human dignity. In: Dupont, Anthony, François, Wim and Leemans, Johan eds. 'Nos sumus tempora'. Studies on Augustine and his Reception Offered to M. Lamberigts, Peeters, Leuven, pp. 171-188.

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Abstract

This article compares two late-antique Christian concepts of human dignity, which were controversially discussed around the middle of the fifth century CE. It shows that while both authors, Julian of Aeclanum (ca. 380-450) and Augustine of Hippo (354-430), draw on ancient concepts of human dignity while grounding their own concepts in the early Christian teaching of humanity being created in God's image (Genesis 1:26), they reach at quite different conclusions. While for Julian of Aeclanum the concept of human dignity implies that human beings are emancipated from God and capable of acting on their own, freely willed, decisions, Augustine contests that in light of humanity's fundamental existential failure to live up to its emancipated status, which is evident in human beings' proneness to sin, human dignity can only be maintained by the continuous intervention of God's grace. The article concludes that although the two concepts are perhaps more closely related than a cursory glance might suggest, they nevertheless result in potentially rather different models of society.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
Publisher: Peeters, Leuven
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2020 13:45
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/133608

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