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Several decades ago, a prominent Evangelical Protestant scholar set forth the claim that Augustine dominated the Councils of Hippo (393) and Carthage (397). For this reason, the scholar argued, one should not regard the decisions reached by these two councils as truly representative of the North African church.
The scholar made this claim in order to diminish the weight of Catholic appeals to these councils in order to demonstrate the canonicity of the Deuterocanonical books. These two councils have been famous in Catholic circles because they formulated lists of the canonical scriptures that are virtually identical to the ones canonized by the Catholic Church at the Council of Trent.
Since the sixteenth century, Catholics have appealed to the witness of the councils of Hippo and Carthage with regard to the inclusion of the Deuterocanonical books. By reframing the true source of this council’s decisions, this scholar would like to challenge the authority Catholics have allocated to these two North African councils.
Is it indeed the case that Augustine dominated these two councils? And, is it the case that these two councils were mostly an expression of his thought?
Join us today as we talk about this historical claim concerning Augustine’s role at these two important councils. To access the show, download our free app on the iOS or Android stores. I look forward to hearing back from our audience.
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The Catholic Heritage Show is devoted to helping Catholic Christians better understand the history, teachings and culture of their Catholic faith so that they can better love and serve Christ, the Church and their neighbors. Dr. Erik Estrada is a Catholic scholar who holds a Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame and specializes in the history of Christianity and historical theology. He also completed a licentiate (S.T.L) in theology and patristic science at the Augustinianum Patristic Institute in Rome and a S.T.B. at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas.
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