Part Three: The Pelagian Crisis (411–430)
Edited By Frederick Van Fleteren
Article 313: Enchiridion
Augustine wrote Enchiridion (Manual) in 421 or later since in it he describes Jerome as of happy memory.2 In Retractationes Augustine places this work immediately after Contra Iulianum.3 He cites it in Quaestiones ad Dulcitium written in 424.4 Augustine addresses Enchiridion to Laurence whom he calls brother of the tribune Dulcitius (the term “brother” is apparently to be understood literally).5 Laurence is erudite and perhaps the principal notary of the Roman church. He wrote Augustine requesting a book to serve as a manual of Christian belief.6 This work was not to leave his hands.7 From it he wanted to learn the following: the essence of Catholic belief; various heresies; the basis for religion; avoidance of pagan religion (he lets that suffice since he finds himself too weak to pursue it); the beginning and end of our hope; an abridgement of Christian teaching; and the foundation of Catholic belief. He wanted a brief explanation of all these matters.8
Augustine loved Laurence and desired to number him among the wise.9 Augustine agreed to write the requested instruction. All his questions could be reduced to faith, hope, and charity.10 Therefore in this manual Augustine treats these virtues and entitles the work Enchiridion de fide, spe, et caritate.11 Possidius lists it under the same title.12 Augustine leaves to Laurence’s discretion to call it an Enchiridion if he so wishes.13 Fulgentius calls it Liber de fide, spe, et caritate to ← 298...