Document Type

Honors Project

First Advisor

Dr. Carol Scheppard

Degree Award Date

Spring 5-4-2024


Augustine, free will, grace, church fathers, Saint Augustine, free will and grace, On the Free Choice of the Will, On Grace and Free Choice, church history, theology


Biblical Studies | Catholic Studies | Christianity | History of Christianity | Practical Theology | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


Augustine's evolving thoughts on free will have been a subject of scholarly inquiry, with many scholars claiming incongruity between his early and later writings. This research paper seeks to determine the level of consistency within Augustine's theological perspective on free will by comparing two pivotal works from each end of his Christian life: "On the Free Choice of the Will" and "On Grace and Free Choice." This study systematically examines the core tenets of Augustine's doctrine of free will in both works, dissecting the nuances of his theological development. By scrutinizing the historical and intellectual contexts surrounding each text, as well as comparing differing scholarly perspectives, this research seeks to establish a comprehensive understanding of Augustine's evolving theological framework. This research proves continuity in Augustine's understanding of free will, demonstrating that any apparent variations are rooted in evolving explorations, rather than substantive contradictions. This investigation contributes to a nuanced comprehension of Augustine's theological development, emphasizing the cohesiveness in the development of his theology of free will throughout his life.

Recommended Citation

Tenberg, Ryan Roeber. An Analysis of Consistency in Augustine's Free Will Theology. REL499: Honors Project, Bridgewater College, 2024.