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Religious movement that flourished AD 429–529 in southern France, considered a heresy by the Roman Catholic church. Unlike their near-contemporaries, the Pelagians (seePelagianism), the semi-Pelagians believed in the universality of original sin as a corruptive force in mankind and held that it could not be overcome without the grace of God. They endorsed baptism, but contrary to Augustine, they taught that the innate corruption of mankind was not so great that it was beyond the will of mankind to subdue through asceticism. Its principal exponents were Sts. John Cassian (360–435), Vincent of Lérins (died c. 450), and Faustus of Riez (c. 400–c. 490).
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on semi-Pelagianism, visit Britannica.com.
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