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1. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 52 > Issue: 1
Mattias Gassman The Ancient Readers of Augustine’s City of God
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Recent scholarship has held that De ciuitate Dei was aimed primarily at Christians. Through a comprehensive study of Augustine’s correspondence with known readers of De ciuitate Dei, this article argues that he in fact intended it for practical outreach. Beginning with the exchange with Volusianus and Marcellinus, it argues that the “circle of Volusianus” was not comprised of self-confident pagans but of a dynamic group of locals and émigrés, pagan and Christian, who had briefly coalesced around Volusianus and Marcellinus. The Carthaginian social situation did not greatly change, therefore, after Marcellinus’s execution and Volusianus’s departure. Neither did Augustine’s aims, of which the same picture emerges from Augustine’s later correspondence with Macedonius, Evodius, Peter and Abraham, Firmus, and Darius, and from Orosius. Augustine intended, from the first inception of De ciuitate Dei to the eve of his death, to use it to equip Christians with arguments and, through those Christians’ efforts in turn, to convince once-reluctant pagans to embrace the truth of its claims.
2. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 52 > Issue: 1
Alexander H. Pierce From emergency practice to Christian polemics? Augustine’s invocation of infant baptism in the Pelagian Controversy
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In this article, I build upon Jean-Albert Vinel’s account of Augustine’s “liturgical argument” against the Pelagians by exploring how and why Augustine uses both the givenness of the practice of infant baptism and its ritual components as evidence for his theological conclusions in opposition to those of the Pelagians. First, I explore infant baptism in the Roman North African Church before and during Augustine’s ministry. Second, I interpret Augustine’s rhetorical adaptation of the custom in his attempt to delineate the defining characteristics of Catholic Christianity in the early fifth century. I show how Augustine mobilizes his belief in the efficacy of the Church’s practice of infant baptism to make explicit a boundary marker of “Catholic” Christianity, which was long implicit in the practice itself. Perceiving the consequences of Pelagianism, Augustine organizes his anti-Pelagian soteriology around the central node of infant baptism, the most theologically and rhetorically strategic means by which he could refute the Pelagian heresy and underwrite what he understood to be the traditional vision of sin and salvation evident in the baptismal rite.
3. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 52 > Issue: 1
Douglas Finn Unwrapping the Spectacle: Social Critique, Sectarian Polemics, and Communal Transfiguration in Augustine’s Enarratio in Psalmum 147
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In this article, I explore how Augustine uses sermonic rhetoric to bring about the transfiguration of Babylon, the city of humankind, into Jerusalem, the city of God. Focusing on Enarratio in Psalmum 147, I show how Augustine situates his audience between two spectacles, the Roman theater and games and the eschatological vision of God. Augustine seeks to turn his hearers’ eyes and hearts from the one spectacle to the other, from the love of this world to love of the next. In the process, Augustine wages battle on two fronts: he criticizes pagan Roman culture, on the one hand, and Donatist Christian separatism and perfectionism, on the other. Through his preaching, Augustine stages yet another spectacle, the history of God’s mercy and love, whereby God affirmed the world’s goodness by using it as the means of healing and transfiguration. Indeed, Augustine does not simply depict the spectacle of salvation; he seeks to make his hearers into that spectacle by exhorting them to practice mercy, thereby inscribing them into the history of God’s love and helping gradually transfigure them into the heavenly Jerusalem.
4. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 52 > Issue: 1
Emeline McClellan Metaphoric Speculation: Rereading Book 15 of Augustine’s De Trinitate
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This article argues that De trinitate advocates a process of “reading” God through metaphor. For Augustine, as for Plotinus, human beings understand God (to the degree that this is possible) not by analyzing him rationally but by seeing him through the metaphor of the human mind. But unlike Plotinus, Augustine claims that the imago dei, with its triadic structure of memory, understanding, and will, serves as metaphor only to the extent that it experiences Christ’s redemptive illumination. The act of metaphor is a kind of interior “reading” during which the mind reads the imago dei as a mental text, interprets this text through Christ’s aid, and is simultaneously transformed into a better image.
book review
5. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 52 > Issue: 1
Albert C. Geljon Creation and Literary Re-Creation. Ambrose’s Use of Philo in the Hexaemeral Letters
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6. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 52 > Issue: 1
Sean Hannan On Creation, Science, Disenchantment, and the Contours of Being and Knowing
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7. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 52 > Issue: 1
Stephen Potthoff The Church in the Latin Fathers: Unity in Charity
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8. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 52 > Issue: 1
Robert Edwards Chrysostom’s Devil: Demons, the Will, and Virtue in Patristic Soteriology
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9. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 52 > Issue: 1
Éric Fournier Christianity, Book-Burning and Censorship in Late Antiquity
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10. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 52 > Issue: 1
Miles Hollingworth St. Augustine, His Confessions, and His Influence
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11. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 52 > Issue: 1
Brian Dunkle Ambrose of Milan’s On the Holy Spirit: Rhetoric, Theology, and Sources
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12. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 52 > Issue: 1
Andrew C. Chronister The Pelagian Controversy: An Introduction to the Enemies of Grace and the Conspiracy of Lost Souls.
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13. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 52 > Issue: 1
Joshua Farris Original Sin and the Fall: Five Views
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14. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 52 > Issue: 1
Thomas Clemmons Desires in Paradise: An Interpretative Study of Augustine’s City of God 14
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books received
15. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 52 > Issue: 1
Books Received
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st. augustine lecture 2019
16. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 51 > Issue: 2
Margaret R. Miles St. Augustine’s Tears: Recollecting and Reconsidering a Life
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In St. Augustine’s society, men’s tears were not considered a sign of weakness, but an expression of strong feeling. Tears might be occasional, prompted by incidents such as those Augustine described in the first books of his Confessiones. Or they might accompany a deep crisis, such as his experience of conversion. Possidius, Augustine’s contemporary biographer, reported that on his deathbed Augustine wept copiously and continuously. This essay endeavors to understand those tears, finding, primarily but not exclusively in Augustine’s later writings, descriptions of his practice of meditation suggesting that a profound and complex range of emotions from fear and repentance to gratitude, love, rest in beauty, and delight in praise richly informed Augustine’s last tears.
articles
17. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 51 > Issue: 2
Han-luen Kantzer Komline Always Something New out of Africa: Augustine’s Unapologetic Argument from Antiquity
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This paper explores changing attitudes toward novelty in early Christianity by focusing on a case study: Augustine of Hippo. It demonstrates that Augustine develops an unapologetically Christian version of the argument from antiquity, unapologetically Christian in that he redefines the very meaning of antiquity in terms of proximity to Christ and in that he relocates the argument from antiquity from the realm of apologetics, where it had become a stock weapon in the arsenal of his predecessors, to the realm of intramural Christian debate. In the process, Augustine relativized temporal measures of “novelty” and “antiquity” and recalibrated the meaning of these terms theologically, with reference to Christ.
18. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 51 > Issue: 2
Amanda C. Knight The Shattered Soul: Augustine on Psychological Number, Order, and Weight
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This article argues that Augustine’s understanding of the internal dynamics of number, order, and weight as they pertain to corporeal creatures supplies the basis for an analogy which characterizes the process of the soul’s reformation. In other words, Augustine understands the soul’s simplicity in an analogous manner to the simplicity of corporeal creatures, and the simplicity of corporeal creatures is determined by the relations between number, order, and weight. This analogy shows that Augustine conceives of the soul as a composite entity with different loves as its constituent parts. In the process of reformation, the soul acquires an ordered disposition as those loves become more like one another. By virtue of this ordered disposition, the soul also acquires a greater degree of integration or number because the likeness of weight among its constituent parts allows the soul to move as a unity toward God as its final end.
book reviews and books received
19. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 51 > Issue: 2
Zachary Thomas Settle Augustine, Michael P. Foley (ed.), Against the Academics: St. Augustine’s Cassiciacum Dialogues, Volume 1
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20. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 51 > Issue: 2
Kevin L. Hughes Augustine, The City of God (de civitate Dei): Abridged Study Edition. Introduction and Translation by William Babcock
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