A heresy taking its name from Pelagius, a lay monk from either Britain or Ireland, who came to Rome in the early fifth century. Pelagius denied that infants were born in a state of original sin and taught that Christ came merely to give humankind a good example to counteract the bad example of Adam. Pelagius held that human beings alone were responsible for their good or evil actions. Pelagianism held that each person can take the first steps toward salvation without the help of grace. Pelagius and his followers were vigorously attacked by Augustine.
Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.