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The "See Also" link to Arminianism seems to be less than NPOV as it implies a relationship between arminianism and semipelagianism which is disputed as the article acknowledges. There is already a link to arminianism in the main body, so this seems unneccesary anyway.

Unattibuted quote[edit]

Please check the article in the Catholic Encyclopedia, Much of the text in the section on development seems to be taken from there.


Yeah, I'm not thrilled with this as it stands. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church gives an entirely different derivation for the term, as well as a different contextual explanation for it. Pelagius, as he appears in the writings of Augustine, seems to suggest that original sin is the introduction of error, but not the transmission of evil to all mankind. Thus, original sin still has an enormous impact, because it incurs the divorce of God from man's direct apprehension. It makes man imperfect, and anything imperfect is cut off from the divine presence. So that's not just a "bad example." This is per Augustine, Pelagius's enemy. Semi-pelagianism, according to Cross et al., was a furtive redefinition and mediation of the Pelagian view. According to it, man is depraved: not just in error but evil by nature, but man is not totally depraved. I.e. the entirety of the divine nature was not obliterated by a sin, as much as it was clouded and alloyed by sin. Thus, it is possible for man to attempt and achieve virtue (as opposed to piety or good) by his own lights alone, and it is possible for man to seek out God based on the remaining goodness that tells him that there must be a summum bonum. It was, of course, condemned as heresy, and the two accounts of the doctrine agree from that point on. However, one thing missing from this is that semi-Pelagianism is a cornerstone of the enlightenment. Both Deism and rationalism require a semi-Pelagian outlook. Thus, although the doctrine was never sanctioned, it slipped into many, many theological movements later. My dispute, I guess, is that this article seems to rely too much upon an evangelical definition and context. From an older church's point of view, things don't appear this way at all. Geogre 13:12, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

Your comments seem valid based on my readings. But I don't see it contradicting what is said in Semipelagianism so much as Pelagianism. Clarifications to Semi- and modifications to Pelagianism along the lines you mention should be acceptable and perhaps a little more NPOV. I suggest you make some changes/edits supported by appropriate citations. The articles will likely be the better for it. Jim Ellis 16:43, 1 May 2006 (UTC)


"It" was condemned in 529, but the term was coined in the 1500s? Was there a typo, or is "it" Pelagianism?

It's not an error, just a little hard to explain in two sentences. Read carefully, it seems clear to me: The heresy advocated by monks of Southern Gaul (at and around Marseille after 428) is what was condemned in 529. This "heresy" received the name "semi-pelagianism" in connection with Luis Molina's doctrine of grace (between 1590 and 1600). The name stuck and is now directly associated with the doctrine condemned at the Council of Orange in 529, even though it was not used at that time. Hope this helps. Jim Ellis 13:30, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

This paragraph is entirely unclear. Don't blame the reader for pronoun/antecedent issues and incoherency by telling them to "read carefully" -- clean up the grammar and explanation so that it makes sense to someone coming to Wikipedia for information. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:11, 21 October 2016 (UTC)


I have re-written the lead paragraph, trying to give the pertinent info quickly and NPOV. I also added categories, so that future editors have a clear division of how to sort the info about the topic.

  • Consider revisiting the "see also" list. Terms linked in the article don't need a link there, and some of the links still seem to be POV accusations of semi-pelagianism against a particular theology.
  • Consider adding more references throughout.

Pastordavid 17:05, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

Past or Present Tense[edit]

The Pelagianism page defines the teaching in the present tense (i.e., Pelagianism is) rather than the past tense (i.e., Pelagianism was). Which directions should this article go with pelagianism and semi-pelagianism? Past or Present? Has anyone checked through other heresy pages to see how it is handled? I really have no preference; it would be nice if one of the other pages had already discussed this and come to a consensus. For myself, the heresies don't stop to exist once they are declared unorthodox, and to speak of them in the past tense assumes that we never see them any more. But my biggest concern is that there be some consistancy. Pastordavid 05:52, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

Blah, blah, blah -- can someone get to the point?[edit]

The introductory paragraph goes on and on before getting to what might be construed as a definition of the term "semipelagianism" --- but not a very clear one. The main text is worse. What does the term mean? Can someone give the definition AT THE BEGINNING before going into all the distinctions? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:45, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

Wow, 6 years later and the problem still remains. Guess this isn't a high priority. I want to reiterate how terribly written the introduction is today. (talk) 14:32, 21 October 2016 (UTC)

Pronoun issues and unclear intro[edit]

-- (talk) 14:29, 21 October 2016 (UTC)"The Roman Catholic Church condemns Semipelagianism but affirms that the beginning of faith involves an act of free will. It teaches that the initiative comes from God, but requires free synergy (collaboration) on the part of man:...."

Is "it" the RCC or Semipelagianism? The entire introductory paragraphs are confusing for readers who know nothing about the topic and are coming to wikipedia for help. The overview section is not a place for a detailed discussion on refutations that is more in-depth than the actual treatment of the school of thought itself. I suspect that the second paragraph needs to be its own subheading under the detailed discussion and pulled from the overview altogether, but I'm not certain based on the pronoun issue. If I knew more about the topic, I'd simply clean up the writing for clarity. (talk) 14:33, 21 October 2016 (UTC)


I dropped some OR from the lead about Synergism. It is not sourced in either article, and is wishy-wasy:

Semipelagianism is similar to synergism such that any differences between them are open to debate. Synergism and semipelagianism both (in contrast to monergism) teach some collaboration in salvation between God and man, but the term semipelagian carries more an idea of heresy. The Roman Catholic Church condemns semipelagianism but affirms collaboration in the form of theological synergism.