Augustine's Conversion from Traditional Free Choice to "Non-free Free Will"

A Comprehensive Methodology

Reddit icon
e-mail icon
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
LinkedIn icon
Kenneth M. Wilson
  • Tübingen, Germany: 
    Mohr Siebeck
    , May
     388 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Catherine C. Tobey forthcoming.


The consensus view asserts Augustine developed his later doctrines ca. 396 CE while writing Ad Simplicianum as a result of studying scripture. His early De libero arbitrio argued for traditional free choice refuting Manichaean determinism, but his anti-Pelagian writings rejected any human ability to believe without God giving faith. Kenneth M. Wilson's study is the first work applying the comprehensive methodology of reading systematically and chronologically through Augustine's entire extant corpus (works, sermons, and letters 386–430 CE), and examining his doctrinal development. The author explores Augustine's later theology within the prior philosophical-religious context of free choice versus deterministic arguments. This analysis demonstrates Augustine persisted in traditional views until 412 CE and his theological transition was primarily due to his prior Stoic, Neoplatonic, and Manichaean influences.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Kenneth M. Wilson is currently a Board Certified Orthopaedic Hand Surgeon in Salem, Oregon and Professor of Church History and Systematic Theology at Grace School of Theology in The Woodlands, Texas.


Reading Religion welcomes comments from AAR members, and you may leave a comment below by logging in with your AAR Member ID and password. Please read our policy on commenting.