Prosper of Aquitaine: A study of his life and works

Alexander Yoon Hwang, Fordham University


Prosper of Aquitaine's (ca. 388-455) importance for the history of doctrine and early medieval historiography has long been recognized; however, the limited scholarship devoted to Prosper has not reflected his importance. In addition, scholarship has mistakenly viewed his theological development in the context of his relationship to Augustine's thought. This dissertation addresses both concerns: the need for work entirely devoted to Prosper and the need to reevaluate his theological development. The dissertation is divided into the significant periods in Prosper's life in the context of his theological development, which, it is argued, is marked by his evolving understanding of the role of the Church in determining catholicity. There are four stages in this development: limited understanding of Church (ch. 2); period of study (ch. 3); naïve understanding and defense of Augustine (ch. 4); emerging awareness of catholicity (ch. 5); and full awareness, appreciation, and defense of the centrality of the Church, its tradition and practice, in determining the catholic view on grace (ch. 6). That is, the locus of theological understanding is not any one individual, including himself, but the Church---the pronouncements of its popes and its liturgical practices. In the end, it is Prosper's fully developed sense of ecclesiology that determines and informs his theology of grace.

Subject Area

Religious history|Theology|Middle Ages

Recommended Citation

Hwang, Alexander Yoon, "Prosper of Aquitaine: A study of his life and works" (2006). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3255045.