JULIAN OF ECLANUM: The most gifted and consistent champion of Pelagianism; b. in Apulia between 380 and 390; d., according to Gennadius, under Valentinian III. (425-455). Well educated in classical literature, he learned from Aristotle the art of dialectics which he used so cleverly in later times. While still a youth, he became bishop of Eclanum near Beneventum and seems to have been greatly respected. It is not known how he was won over to Pelagianism, but this doctrine corresponded to his whole disposition, which was not religious, but intellectual. By an edict of the Emperor Honorius and the Epistola tractatoria of the Roman Bishop Zosirnus (see PELAGIUS), Julian with seventeen other bishops was crowded out of his episcopal position in 418 and expelled from his native country. Entrusted with the defense of his associates, he assumed the leadership in the struggle against Augustinianism, and attacked it first in a letter to Bishop Rufus of Thessalonica, wherein he laid down his views concerning the divine creation of each individual man, concerning marriage, law, the freedom of the will, and baptism against Augustine and his adherents, whom he regarded as Manicheans. In connection with this letter there was issued a circular letter to the adherents of Pelagius in Italy, which, however, was probably not written by Julian himself. Against Augustine's De nuptiis et concupiscentia he directed the four books of his work Ad Turbantium (419); its main thought is the natural goodness of man vouch-safed by God's creation. Augustine wrote a second treatise De nuptiis et concupiscentia and Julian answered by addressing eight books to Florus (Libri viii ad Florum contra Augustine librum secundum de nuptiis). This is Julian's most important writing, full of personal, passionate, and spiteful polemics against Augustine, but also fraught with dialectical acuteness and logical sequence of thoughts; it forms the proper source for the knowledge of Julian's theology. The efforts of himself and his associates at the court of the Byzantine Emperor Theodosius II. (d. 450) to be restored to their positions were without success, and Marius Mercator especially caused his expulsion from Constantinople. At the Council of Ephesus in 431 he was expressly condemned.

The fundamental presupposition of Julian's doctrines is that sin is a matter of the will and not of nature. Will again presupposes the freedom of choice, and this consists in the possibility of admitting or rejecting sin. In virtue of this liberty of will man bears the image of God within himself and is akin to him just as according to his sensual nature he is related to the animal. In free will man possesses such a perpetual possibility of willing and not willing that Julian denies even the force of motives. From this conception of free will it follows that it is a possession which can not be lost and can not be restrained or limited by sin. The conception of sin as a work of the will implies that it can arise only under an entirely free choice. Therefore Julian found himself in entire opposition to Augustine's doctrine of hereditary sin. It is a contradictio in adjecto since sin and guilt can exist only where there is freedom of decision. Children can not sin because they have no will. It is perfect nonsense to deny the virtue of pagans. Augustine's doctrine is altogether Manichean since only the devil can be the creator and lord of an evil nature. Augustine is even worse than Mani, since he makes God the author and multiplier of sin. Since God creates the nature of each individual man, it must be good. If man were evil by nature he would not be capable of redemption; disgrace of nature would therefore imply the denial of grace. The doctrine of original sin contradicts also the justice of God, since according to it he recompenses and punishes that which is not a matter of liberty and not due to one's own fault. Justice, however, is a generally acknowledged and fundamental law, and a contradiction to this law suffices


for the refutation of the doctrine of hereditary sin. Death is not evil; it is natural for a creature to die. The doctrine of hereditary sin destroys also the sanctity of marriage. Marriage is pleasing to God as the sexual impulse is his work. Even Christ possessed concupiscence, and if there was no naturale peccatum in him, it is also not in our nature. At the same time Julian does not deny the importance of God's grace. Our bodily and especially our spiritual endowments are works of divine grace. He does not deny the loss of the meritum innocentiae. In baptism we receive forgiveness of sin and incitement to good works. Thus the good will of man is aided by God. The increase of divine benefactions is useful and necessary although virtue and sin remain always a matter of free will. Julian always tried to prove his position from Scripture, but he did not consider this his last and highest authority; for him reason was higher than Scripture and tradition. Scripture can never contradict what reason teaches. No one ever understood how to use the art of dialectics more cleverly than Julian, and he tried to decide all questions by logical conclusions.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: The chief sources are: Notices in Augustine (who had known Julian's parents and took an interest in him), vols. ii. and x, of the Benedictine edition of his works and MPL, xxxiii., xliv., xlv.; cf. xlv. 1736 sqq. For further notices: Marius Mercator, MPL, xlviii.; Vincent of Lerins; Prosper; and Gennadius. Consult A. Bruckner, Julian von Eklanum, sein Leben und seine Lehre, in TU, xv. 3, Leipsic, 1897; C. T. G. Schönemann, Bibliotheca . . . patrum Latinorum, ii., § 18, ib. 1794 (condensed account, but valuable); W. Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, ii. 643-644, London, 1890; Harnack, Dogma, v. 171 sqq. 186 sqq., 203, 235, 236, vi. 303; Ceillier, Auteurs sacrés, ix. 483 538, consult Index; Neander, Christian Church, ii. 650-655 et passim; Schaff, Christian Church, iii. 800, 837-838, 937; DCB, iii. 469-473; Von Schubert, in TU, xxiv. 4 (1903).


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