FIND in
<--prev V29 next-->

From: "Alice Turner" <pei047@attglobal.net>
Subject: (urth) Pelagianism
Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 10:20:50 

We've never discussed this, have we?

In CLAW, just before they dine on baked Thecla,Vodalus gives a
flint-like object to Sev to give to his "agent" at the House Absolute
(the autarch). The agent will identify himself with the phrase, "The
pelagic argosy sights land." Later, if he should give Sev a further
message, the recipient will use the phrase, "I am from the quercine
penetralia," i.e. the heart of the oak--which is truer than Vodalus

Pelagic, as a simple adjective, means oceanic, deep-sea. But there is a
Christian heresy named after Pelagius, a strong rival to Augustine of
Hippo (who nailed down a great deal of Christian doctrine, including
some of the most intractable). The position of Pelagius was that the
doctrine of Grace, as taught by Augustine, was in opposition to the
doctrine of Free Will, and ultimately was productive of moral laxity.
Pelagius was condemned several times (usually by a narrow margin), but
in practice, Western Christianity has wavered between his side and
Augustine's ever since.

The basic points were a rejection of Original Sin (Adam was merely a bad
example); thus there is no need for salvation through Christ as it can
be achieved by one's own efforts (Christ was merely a good example).
Man, not God, is responsible for man's depravity (and Pelagius found
plenty of depravity in Rome), and it is entirely possible for a man,
even before Christ, to be sinless--we can choose our path. Infant
baptism, one of Augustine's most controversial stands (unbaptized babies
were damned, which, to some of us, seems like an extraordinarily
perverse superstition) was rejected. You can check all this out at
length in the online Catholic Encyclopedia.

Taking the position that Wolfe does not use words, especially unusual
words with a religious slant, lightly or accidentally, how does this
pertain to the Vodalus position?


*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

<--prev V29 next-->