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The Life of Augustine of Hippo

Part Three: The Pelagian Crisis (411–430)

Edited By Frederick Van Fleteren

The seventeenth century was the century of Saint Augustine. In 1695, Louis Sébastien, Le Nain de Tillemont, finished volume 13 of his Mémoires ecclésiastique, entitled La vie de saint Augustin. The volume consisted of approximately 1200 pages wherein Louis Sébastien gathered from the works of Augustine and elsewhere all extant passages relevant to the biography of Augustine of Hippo. Completed in 1695, the biography was published posthumously in 1700. The work lies in the tradition of Jansenism from Port-Royal and the Leuven. Though an ascetic recluse on the family estate for the last twenty years of his life, he was in touch with important French scholars and the ecclesiastical movements of his time. Louis’ work is the first modern biography of Augustine and the most comprehensive of all Augustinian biographies, even today. Modern authors consult him and frequently adopt his theories without citation. His method exercises influence on contemporary Parisian scholarship on Augustine. This English translation has been divided into three volumes covering three time periods: part 1: birth to episcopal consecration (354–396); part 2: the Donatist controversy (396–411); part 3: the Pelagian controversy (411–430).
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At the end of this work of more than twenty years, it is my pleasure and duty to thank so many who have had a hand in this work. The prefaces to the first two volumes of this study contain the names of those who helped in bringing those volumes to the light of day. I refer the readers to those prefaces.

In the preparation of this volume, special mention should be made of many others. Thomas Keagy, Ph.D., dean of Arts and Sciences at LaSalle University, was instrumental in obtaining a research semester for me in autumn of 2012. The permanent members, colleagues, and staff at Clare Hall, Cambridge University where I have been appointed life member were most helpful. The scholarly atmosphere of that institution in particular and Cambridge University in general is non pareil. Particular thanks is due Prof. Karla Pollmann, renowned scholar of Augustine, for her kind invitation to me as visiting scholar in residence at St. Andrews University in Scotland in 2012 and her provision of living quarters in the town of St. Andrews during 2012–2013. Thanks are also due Prof. Katherine Hawley, Head of School (in philosophy), Prof. John Haldane, internationally acclaimed Catholic philosopher, and Mark Elliot, Head of school (in theology) for looking to the provision of the academic position of visiting scholar to St. Andrews University in 2013. The welcome of the Scots and the British, especially Thomas Duncan retired scholar of medieval lyric at St. Andrews...

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