Traducianism is the belief that the souls of children, as well as their bodies, are propagated from their parents, and is opposed to Creationism (q.v.) and the doctrine of the Pre-existents (q.v.). According to Jerome, both Tertullian and Apollinaris were advocates of this opinion, and the opponents of Pelagianism, in general, have been inclined to it. Since the Reformation, it has been more approved than any other in the Lutheran Church, and that not by philosophers and naturalists merely, but also by divines. Luther himself, though he did not declare distinctly in its favor. was also inclined towards this theory; and in the Formula Concordiae it is distinctly taught that both soul and body are propagated by the parents in ordinary generation. What has rendered the hypothesis more acceptable to theologians is its affording the easiest solution of the doctrine of native depravity; and it seems to receive confirmation from the psychological facts that the natural disposition of children not infrequently resembles that of their, parents, and that the mental excellences and imperfections of parents are inherited nearly as often by their children as any bodily attributes. But, after all that can be said, we must be content to remain in uncertainty respecting the subject. As thou knowest not what is the way of the Spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child, even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all" (Ec 11:5). See Buck, Theol. Dict. s.v.; Delitzsch, Bibl. Psychology, p. 128-131; New-Englander, July, 1868, p. 475. SEE SOUL, ORIGIN OF.

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